Mapai Debates Proposed Changes in Cost of Living Allowance System

A sharp dispute over Israel’s present system of automatic wage increases tied to the cost-of-living index developed here yesterday at the national convention of the Mapai party between two Cabinet ministers and trade union leaders.

Finance Minister Levi Eshkol and Minister of Trade and Industry Pinchas Sapir warned against continuation of the present system and urged that a change to provide for cost-of-living adjustments every nine months or year, instead of the current three-month period, be instituted. Trade union leaders, headed by Joseph Almogi, secretary of Haifa’s Labor Council, demanded that the present system be maintained.

At the same time, Mr. Sapir charged that the social advances made by Israel workers were having an adverse affect on the country’s trade. He stressed that these advances had raised the cost of production and had made Israel goods unmarketable abroad because their prices were too high.

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