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Students Volunteer to Work As Stevedores if Israeli Ports Become Strike-bound

About 200 Hebrew University students volunteered today to work as stevedores at Israel’s ports If they become strike-bound again. The students distributed leaflets stating their support for Maj. Gen. Haim Laskov, former Israeli Chief of Staff, now chairman of the National Port Authority. They assailed Yitzhak Ben Aharon, recently elected secretary general of Histadrut, who has been in dispute with Gen. Laskov and has demanded his dismissal. About 2000 other students have signed the statement of support. Israel’s two major seaports, Haifa and Ashdod, have been plagued by recurring labor trouble for the past two years. Ashdod, a new port south of Tel Aviv, is heavily automated. It has been the scene of prolonged strikes by longshoremen who object to the new work rules. This has brought Histadrut into conflict with the semiautonomous Port Authority. Hebrew University students said “Laskov’s only sin Is that he trying to ease labor relations and honor signed contracts on the basis of honesty and mutual fairness.”