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Partial Plant Shutdown Causes Dispute Between Arab, Jewish Workers

The Labor Relations Mediation Office will try to settle a dispute between Jewish and Arab workers at the Dimona fibers plant. The dispute arose after 345 Jewish workers were dismissed because of the shutdown of several departments in the plant. The Jewish workers demanded that the 150 Arabs from the administered territories working in the plant be dismissed and replaced by the Jewish workers. This morning when the Arab workers arrived they were prevented from entering the plant by pickets representing the dismissed Jewish workers.

The police were called, but meanwhile Histadrut officials intervened, explaining to the Arabs that the reason for the demands by the Jewish workers were not political or the result of prejudice but due to the professional rule that the last hired is the first dismissed in case of a layoff. The Arabs then decided they would not resume work until a settlement is reached between the Jewish workers and the management of the plant. “We do not want to be a side in the conflict,” the Arabs said.

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