JERUSALEM (Dec. 9)
New attempts to settle the seamen’s strike in Israel failed today when striking maritime workers refused to return to work before negotiations were begun with the Histadrut, as had been demanded by the labor federation. Meanwhile, Captain Itzhak Aharanowitz of the S.S. Tel Aviv, one-time master of the visaless immigrant vessol Exodus, today became the first captain to throw in his lot with the strikers.
This week-end saw the launching of a new nationwide seamen’s union by the Histadrut under the leadership of Shaul Avigor, former Under Secretary of Defense. Most of the strikers, however, refused to join the new union. Those that did approach it were told that they would have to return to their jobs before the union would agree to deal with them.
When the seamen asked the Histadrut-formed union to guarantee that all the strikers would be rehired, the Histadrut group refused. At this point the strikers gave up their attempt to end the strike. They were then joined by the crews of the Tel Aviv and Rimon, which docked at Tel Aviv this week-end.
A report from Liverpool received here today said that the crew of the Ethrog, Israeli vessel berthed at that port, went on a one-hour strike to demonstrate their solidarity with their striking fellow workers in Israel.
Mordecai Namir, general secretary of the Histadrut, reported that 2,000 men had volunteered to man Israel’s ships. Forty percent of the strikers had requested a return to work, he declared. He said that 10 ships, manned by volunteers, had sailed since the strike tied up Israel’s merchant shipping.