Union Orders Striking Deckhands Back to Work

The Seamen’s Union Council ordered striking deckhands back to work today but also demanded that Histadrut take proper action to protect seafarers’ wages which may be threatened by the tax reform measures now before the Knesset. The Council also rejected Histadrut’s decision to suspend Moshe Levy, secretary of the deckhands’ branch of the union, who unilaterally called the wildcat strike two days ago.

Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz met with El Al air crews today to discuss the impact of the tax reforms on their wages. He assured them that their net income would not suffer but did not address himself to the main bone of contention–whether increments such as foreign currency allowances for lay-overs abroad would be regarded as taxable income. Both the flight crew and the seamen are concerned that the tax reforms will reduce their take-home pay and benefits accruing from the fact that they are employed for long periods away from home.

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