Histadrut Meets with Israel Government on Problem of Unemployment

Israel’s mounting unemployment led the Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, to meet today with Premier Levi Eshkol to consider actions to provide new jobs. The Ministers of Finance, Trade and Industry, Labor and Housing also attended the meeting. The Israel Treasury also announced plans for a meeting with the Histadrut to discuss the impact of price rises for milk, eggs and fats on employees whose salaries have been frozen in Israel’s current austerity program.

While the Histadrut is supporting the Government’s austerity program, unrest is being felt in the labor federation itself because of rising prices and, particularly, due to the growing unemployment. Berl Repertur, chairman of the Histadrut’s employment committee, reported last night that his figures showed 35,000 Israelis are jobless. Unemployment in Israel may reach 9 percent of the work force by December, but it is expected to fall again to about 6 percent in January.

Among the proposals put forward by Labor Minister Yigal Allon, aimed at coping with the expected unemployment, were the immediate launching of schemes calling for railroad, highway and other construction projects, which had been scheduled over the next few years.

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