TEL AVIV (Aug. 26)
Seven American labor leaders, representing large segments of both the AFL and the CIO, left for home today, after a 10-day visit here, determined “to fight for a change in the United States Government’s attitude toward Israel, because the American labor movement is interested in Israel’s security.”
The American trade unionists came here under the auspices of the American Christian Committee for Palestine and the National Committee for Labor Israel. Here, they were the guests of Histadrut, the Confederation of Jewish Labor in Israel. Yesterday, they were received in Jerusalem by President Itzhak Ben Zvi, Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, Labor Minister Golda Myerson, Speaker Joseph Sprinzak and other high government officials.
Today, before departing, they reiterated a pledge they had given Mr. Ben Zvi, to do all they can upon returning home to work toward improving American policy vis-a-vis Israel. “The American labor movement is interested in Israel’s security, because Israel is a real democratic state that can be trusted to guarantee the labor movement’s progressive development,” said Phil Hanna, AFL leader from Columbus, Ohio, who acted as the delegation’s spokesman.
In answer to questions by correspondents, Mr. Hanna said: “We were greatly impressed with the Histadrut’s success in securing for the Arab workers their rights as workers, their professional rights, the privileges to which all workers are entitled, and an increase in the Arab workers’ self-confidence. We are convinced that the Arab workers are appreciative of the Histadrut’s work and, therefore, the country has the loyalty of the Arabs living here.” Among the places visited by the delegation was Nazareth, the all-Arab city in Israel, where they conferred with residents of the city and with Parliamentary deputies from the Arab constituencies.
Harry Block, secretary of the CIO in Pennsylvania, another member of the delegation, called for increased friendship between the American and the Israeli labor movements. He said he felt that more mutual visiting between these two sections of labor, and more study of each other’s problems and ideals, would help cement firmer relations. All members of the delegation had high praise for Israel’s accomplishments. The prime purpose of their visit here was to study labor conditions and labor-management relations here.