JERUSALEM (Jul. 20)
With almost 21,000 Israeli workers engaged in various forms of strikes, stoppages and slow-downs, Labor Minister Joseph Almogi proposed two bills last night designed to curb what he called “Illegal” strikes. The proposals were made at a meeting of the Labor Alignment which, with the exception of the Mapam faction, supported the measures. One of Almogi’s bills would permit no strikes during a period of “collective agreement.” Any dispute would have to be settled through mediation or binding arbitration. The other bill deals with strikes after collective agreements have expired. Mapam has indicated its opposition to both measures. Yitzhak Ben Aharon, secretary general of Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, is yet to make his stand clear.
The labor picture in Israel was far from bright today. Some 15,000 employes of the sick-fund administrative and medical auxiliary staffs have adopted the practice of working their required hours without breaks which means that clinics and pharmacies close by mid-afternoon, preventing many patients from receiving treatment or prescriptions. About 3,500 employes of Government hospitals whose strike last month was ended by a back-to-work order from the Knesset, renewed it yesterday when the order expired. The hospitals are expected to feel the effects in a day or two. At the same time, 1,000 physicians employed by Government hospitals have refused to work in out-patient clinics which were shut down as a consequence. A partial–afternoon–strike by 120 international telex and cable exchange workers has disrupted overseas communications between 11:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time. Meanwhile, a strike of 300 postal workers all over the country entered its second week with no sign of a settlement.