Labor-management Strife in Israel Feared over Cost-of-living Increase

The threat of widespread labor-management strife in Israel developed today when Israeli manufacturers indicated they would oppose payment of an increase in cost-of-living allowances approved by Finance Minister Levi Eshkol.

The Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation, asked for and received approval for the boost despite the fact that the increase in the consumer price index, to which such allowances are linked, was currently below the minimum required for living cost allowance increases. Management objections to paying the increases were based on this point.

Histadrut officials replied they hoped it would not be necessary to use strikes to force payments. The increases amount to about 14 pounds (around $7) per month for the highest-paid workers, and are scheduled to be paid on a staggered basis to reduce their inflationary impact.

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