TEL AVIV (Mar. 21)
Field workers at the Abu Rodes oil fields in Sinai declared a general strike today halting all operations at the government installation which has been under investigation since last year for an alleged management scandal. If the strike continues, losses are estimated as high as $230,000 a day. The walkout caught the Histadrut Trade Union Department by complete surprise. An emissary was flown to Abu Rodes on the shores of the Red Sea, to try to persuade the workers to return to their jobs.
The strike was called because, the workers claim, their new labor contract has not been signed as promised. Histadrut said negotiations were completed but the signing was delayed for technical reasons. The strike is the first at the former Egyptian oil fields operated by the Netivei Neft Company. Netivei Neft is headed by Mordechai Friedman, a key figure in allegations of mismanagement, fraud and corruption leveled against Netivei Neft last year. The charges are being investigated by a State appointed panel.