NEW YORK (Oct. 2)
A three-year construction program costing $50, 000, 000 for new hospitals, clinics, vocational schools and cultural institutions will be executed in Israel by Histadrut, the Israel labor federation, it was announced here yesterday by Yehoshua Levy, Histadrut treasurer, at a meeting of the board of directors of the National Committee for Labor Israel. The board, under the chairmanship of Charles S. Zimmerman, adopted a 1966-67 goal of $5, 000, 000 for the Israel Histadrut campaign which, finances an extensive program of health, welfare, vocational training and cultural activities in Israel, in cooperation with Histadrut.
Israel Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, speaking at the board meeting, stated that Histadrut is playing a vital role in helping solve the country’s current problems. “Histadrut is a dominant factor in Israel’s new economic policy, ” he said. “Histadrut leaders are in full agreement with this policy, and will do everything to help carry it out. They have agreed to abandon the traditional linking of wages tightly to the cost-of-living index, and to raise the productivity norms. Since 1965, productivity has improved 10 percent, and this trend will continue. As an employer running major industries in Israel, Histadrut is helping expand the industrial base of the country and absorbing many of the 40, 000 or 50, 000 workers being added to the labor force each year.”
Mr. Levy emphasized that Israel’s economic difficulties could not be solved in a vacuum but had to be accompanied by improvements in the health and welfare program, in which Histadrut was a major factor. “The annual budget of Histadrut for medical care, vocational training, cultural activities, adult education, absorption of new immigrants, care for dependent children, homes for the aged, and related services amounts to 400, 000, 000 Israeli pounds ($133, 000, 000) and will be increased by 35 percent next year. Histadrut plans to build over $33, 000, 000 worth of hospitals and clinics in the next three years, and will add between seven and 11 new vocational schools to its present network of 17. Enrollment of teen-age trainees in these secondary schools will be more than doubled.”
$500, 000 EMERGENCY LOAN VOTED; SCHOLARSHIP FUND TO GET $2, 000, 000 MORE
In response to the current Israeli recession “and readjustment period that has created hardship for tens of thousands of unemployed workers, ” the board adopted a resolution calling for a period of “extraordinary mobilization on behalf of the Israel Histadrut Campaign.” It authorized a $500, 000 loan to be used for immediate transmission to Israel.
In asking for emergency action, Dr. Sol Stein, executive director of the National Committee for Labor Israel, lauded “Histadrut’s courageous and drastic measures to combat inflation and unemployment, ” and noted that Histadrut and “its manifold institutions play an extraordinary role in safeguarding the welfare and stability of Israeli society.”
In a separate resolution, the board laid stress on the significance of the Histadrut Scholarship Fund, which enables needy youngsters to learn a trade. It also set a $2, 000, 000 additional goal for new commitments to the American Histadrut Development Foundation, which passed the $8, 000, 000 mark this year.
Israel Stolarsky, associate director of the Israel Histadrut Campaign, reported on his six-week survey of American-supported Histadrut institutions in Israel. He stated that since Israel was founded 18 years ago, American friends of Histadrut had sponsored over 1,100 medical, educational and rehabilitation institutions there. The board voted a message of congratulations to David Ben-Gurion, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.