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Mapai and Achdut Lose Votes in Labor Union Elections in Israel

Israel’s dominant Mapai Party lost votes in elections in the Building Workers Union in what observers regarded today as a clue to forthcoming national elections in the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation.

Mapai’s coalition partner, Achdut Avodan, also lost votes. The leftist Mapam, the Liberals and the Religious Workers gained votes, as did the Communists. The Mapai percentage dropped three points, from 47.5 percent to 44.5 percent. Achdut lost two percentage points. Mapam increased its vote by two percent, and the Communists rose one point to four percent. The Liberals, who had one percent of the vote, rose to two percent.

Some observers said the Mapai loss was a warning to those opposing alignment between Mapai and Achdut Avodah in a limited labor front. Previously, Mapai had controlled the construction workers’ federation through a coalition with Achdut. Mapai now controls the Histadrut through such a coalition.