TEL AVIV (May. 14)
Itzhak Ben-Aharon, the Secretary General of Histadrut, resigned this morning in anger over the government’s intervention to avert a strike by employes of the canning industry. Ben-Aharon, regarded as the strong man of Histadrut, announced his resignation at a meeting of the labor federation’s Central Commit-tee. Members of the committee decided unanimously not to accept it but neither they nor other prominent labor personalities were able to persuade Ben-Aharon to remain in office.
The strike, to have begun today, was postponed for 24 hours after Premier Golda Meir met last night with industrialists and labor representatives in her Tel Aviv office. Ben-Aharon, who attended the meeting, insisted that the intervention of Mrs. Meir, Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir and Labor Minister Yosef Almogi was unwarranted. “A workers’ government should not stand in the way of the workers,” he was quoted as saying.
Notification of the strike, which would affect 13 canning plants, was given two weeks ago as required by law. Efforts to avert it have been unsuccessful so far. The Manufacturers Association announced that it would abut down all canning plants in the country if the 13 were struck.
Late this afternoon, the Histadrut Central Committee, by majority vote, accepted a compromise proposal by Mrs. Meir to avert a cannery strike. The nature of the proposal was not disclosed pending its acceptance by the Manufacturers Association which was reportedly studying It tonight. It was learned unofficially that the proposal included three weeks’ annual leave for per diem employes in place of their present two weeks. It would also establish a 13 year limit for per diem workers after which they would be regarded as monthly workers.