Defense Workers Plan Stoppages; Docks Hit by Slow-downs, Walkouts

A new wave of labor troubles has engulfed Israel’s chief seaports and a vital section of the country’s defense industries. Port workers at Haifa, Israel’s largest seaport, have started a work slow-down that is causing serious delays in loading citrus cargoes at the peak of the citrus export season. Port foremen at Ashdod, Israel’s second port, staged a three-hour work stoppage yesterday in support of the demands of their Haifa colleagues. The issue is a bonus in the form of an income tax reduction.

Potentially more serious is the first job action ever taken in Israel by civilian metal workers employed by the military industries. Several thousand workers have decided on a two-hour work stoppage twice a week–Mondays and Wednesdays–between 10 a.m. and noon to protest their exclusion from a two percent wage hike recently awarded metal workers in civilian industries. They have rejected a promise that the increase will be incorporated into their next wage contract.

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