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Labor Unrest Widens in Israel; Workers of Electric Plants Strike

All workers in the Tel Aviv and southern district operations of the Israeli Electric Company quit work today in a 24-hour strike for higher wages as labor disputes spread in Israel’s economy. The widening labor unrest was attributed partly to the current election atmosphere.

Lawyers in public service posts met tonight to decide on whether to stage a protest strike against what they called the Government’s "procrastination" in meeting their demands for improvements in wages and working conditions. The Government averted a strike last week of Government physicians and engineers with a makeshift agreement.

The electrical workers walkout was staged in defiance of policies of the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation. Histadrut officials had informed the workers that "we have achieved all that we can from management" but this was rejected by the workers who were led by a "special action committee" which defied the union’s elected labor committee. The strike will not affect power supplies because employes in the power stations remained on the job.

In Haifa, the Labor Council supported the demand of workers of the Ata textile factory, one of the largest in Israel, for a six percent wage increase. Despite the fact that the Labor Council issued a strike ultimatum to the Ata management, it appeared a strike could still be averted. Workers apparently were in approval of negotiation efforts of their representatives at the bargaining table.

It was indicated that if the Government attorneys did strike, those connected with the Adolf Eichmann trial would be excused from joining the strikers.

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