15,000 Israeli Professionals Hold One-day Strike; Back Striking Engineers
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15,000 Israeli Professionals Hold One-day Strike; Back Striking Engineers

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About 15,000 professionals–high school teachers, laboratory scientists and technicians, and many other Israelis belonging to the academic professions–carried out a one-day strike today, in support of the 6,000 striking engineers employed by public institutions. The engineers’ strike, backing up demands for higher salaries, was in its 12th day today.

Israel’s secondary schools were closed down when the teachers walked cut in solidarity with the engineers. Many Government and municipal physical and chemical laboratories were similarly shut for lack of staff. While Histadrut–the Israel Federation of Labor–had requested its members to ignore the solidarity strike call, small numbers of academic personnel and other professionals had reported for work this morning. The striking engineers had already been backed by physicians who, a week ago, observed a four-hour work stoppage in their support.

Levi Eshkol, Israel’s Finance Minister, returned to Israel today after an absence of almost a month in the United States and Europe, and is expected to try immediately to find a solution to the dispute between the public institutions and the striking engineers.

Professor D. Ginsburg, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was attempting today to mediate the dispute between the Engineers’ Union and the Finance Ministry. It was feared that, if Dr. Ginsburg’s efforts should fail, there is danger of a general strike by all academic and professional personnel in Israel, including the secondary schools.

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