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Strike of 6,000 Professionals Called off in Israel; Settlement Sought

The Engineers Union which called out 6,000 professionals in public institutions and government offices yesterday morning in a fight for higher salaries, suddenly called off the strike today with a threat to renew it in two weeks of no settlement is reached by then.

The union’s executive adopted the strike decision by a seven to six vote after a marathon all-night bargaining session broke down yesterday morning. The engineers are demanding a 16 percent wage increase for engineers, architects, agronomists, chemists and geologists who are members of the union.

After the strike was underway, a representative of the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation, persuaded the union’s executive to adopt a new procedure. The Histadrut proposal was that a committee of five members of the executive should be named to review the union demands. At this point, a representative of the Liberal party on the executive changed his vote and said he now opposed the strike. The executive then called off the strike on the understanding that it would be resumed in two weeks if no settlement was reached.

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