Histadrut Adopts Mapai Proposal for Freeze of Wages and Taxes

The proposal sponsored by Mapai for the Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, to enter into an agreement with the Government for a one-year freeze of wages and taxes was adopted by the Histadrut executive last night over the opposition of the Mapam and Achdut Avoda members. Last week “workers committees” organized by Mapam and other opposing factions, staged a one-hour warning strike in various parts of the country.

While it was agreed that the Histadrut Council would hear appeals by Mapam and Achdut Avodah against the wage freeze agreement, the Histadrut Trade Union Department announced that it would be guided by the decision of the executive in its negotiations for collective wage agreements. The appeal will be made shortly before a special meeting of the Council which normally meets only once a year.

At the meeting of the executive last night, Mapai supporters of the proposal pointed to the danger to Israeli workers “if we do not meet the challenge of the European Common Market.” They stressed that Jobs would be endangered if more and cheaper Israeli goods were not sold abroad. Mapam and Achdut Avoda members, on the other hand, demanded wage increases.

Nearly all branches of Israeli commerce and industry, including the Merchants Association and small artisans organizations announced that they would cooperate with Government efforts to secure stabilization of prices provided there will be no wage increases.

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