NEW YORK (Jun. 2)
The strike by 500 employes against the Israel Bond Organization entered its 20th day today with no signs of progress toward a settlement. The two sides continued to meet however under the aegis of the New York State Mediation Service. Meetings were held yesterday and last Friday. Another meeting is scheduled to be hold tomorrow, A spokesman for Local 1707 of the Community and Social Agency Employes, AFL-CIO, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that many unions which purchase Israel Bonds have cancelled participation in Bond functions and have threatened to withhold further purchases until the strike is settled. A spokesman for the Bond Organization conceded that it has received communications from some unions “expressing interest in a settlement and asking for details and information” about negotiations. The spokesman told the JTA that he knew of only three union locals that indicated they would withhold Israel Bond purchases. On the other hand, he said, at least six unions, whose names he declined to identify, have made new purchases of Israel Bonds since the strike began on May 14.
The Bond Organization and the union spokesmen both referred to a May 27 letter from Emil Mazy, secretary-treasurer of the United Automobile Workers Union in Detroit, to Leo Bernstein, executive vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization, indicating that the UAW was deeply disturbed by the lack of progress in negotiations. The letter noted that the UAW holds $785,000 worth of Israel Bonds and purchases them because it supports Israel and has close relations with Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation. The Israel Bond Organization spokesman said that receipts from Bond sales during the last two weeks of May were 50 percent higher than in the corresponding period last year. A spokesman for Local 1707 told the JTA reporter that he had letters and telegrams from more than in a half dozen unions and locals threatening to withhold Bond purchases or implying that they would take such action if the strike isn’t settled, and read portions of these letters during his telephone interview with the JTA. The spokesman said Bond sales functions were cancelled by the Bakery Workers Union; the Laborers international Union of North America, District Council of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh; the Cleveland AFL-CIO; the Dade County (Fla.) AFL-CIO Council; Fruit handlers Union Local 371 in Westport, Conn. and the International Jewelry Workers Union.
The union spokesman claimed there were “many other” unions that cancelled Bond sales functions. He said “hundreds” of letters and telegrams supporting the strike were sent by various unions all over the country to Bernstein. Meanwhile, the coordinating committee of the Labor Zionist Movement expressed “deep regret” over the apparent breakdown in negotiations. It urged both parties “to meet together around the negotiating table without further delay and to negotiate in good faith without let-up until agreement is reached on a new contract.” The committee, representing the United Labor Zionists-Poale Zion, Farband-Labor Zionist Order, Pioneer Women and Habonim, stated, “We cannot look upon this as an ordinary labor-management dispute since the vital interests of Israel are involved.” An IBO spokesman said, following yesterday’s mediation session that he was “hopeful” of a settlement but conceded that the mediation sessions so far have not gotten down to specific issues. He said “progress” was visible but only “in a vague way.” The union spokesman claimed that there was “no movement” because the IBO was sticking to its “counter-demands” and was refusing to negotiate a new contract.