Bill on Labor Introduced in Knesset; Aims to Cut Strikes and Lockouts

Labor Minister Golda Myerson introduced a bill in the Knesset today, designed to settle more labor disputes by peaceful means and cut the number of strikes and lockouts in Israel. The measure provides for the establishment of a Council for Labor Relations which would name chairmen of compulsory arbitration committees in different industries.

Mrs. Myerson reported that between 1950 and 1954 there were 372 strikes and lockouts in the country. This amounted to an annual average of three man-days lost, comparing favorably with the United States where the average loss during that period was nearly five times as great, but comparing unfavorably with Britain, Holland and the Scandinavian countries where the loss due to labor trouble is only one-third the Israeli rate.

The Progressive Party, small centrist group within the government coalition, threatened today to walk out of the coalition unless the government keeps its promises to raise the wages of top white collar and scientific workers in the government service. A resolution adopted by the party’s executive council said that if the government did not “fulfill the decisions and obligations accepted last September in reference to government employee’s wages, “the party would quit the condition. It gave the government a week to arrive at a solution.

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