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Seamen Go out on Strike

Israeli seamen went on strike at 6 p.m. today after rejecting appeals by Histadrut and the government to stay on the Job while their pay claims were under negotiations. The strike, called because of the reduction in foreign currency allowances resulting from the recent devaluation of the Israeli Pound, prevented the sailing of 11 ships today; five were tied up at Haifa, and three each at Ashdod and Eilat. Ships arriving tomorrow are expected to be affected. Zim and other shipping lines claimed that they were merely obeying the law when they paid the foreign currency portion of seamen’s wages at the present rate of exchange which is one Pound sterling for each IL 14. The seamen demand the pre-devaluation rate of one Pound sterling for IL 1. Transport Minister Gad Yaacobi said the government would not negotiate under the threat of a strike or sanctions.