Price Hikes Create Unrest

The prospect of strikes and protest demonstrations by workers against the decision of the government to increase prices of basic commodities by cutting sulin idles emerged yesterday from an unusually vigorous protest by the Histadrut over the action.

Histadrut officials announced the labor federation’s withdrawal from the government-industry-Histadrut price control committee and declared that it would be the task of the workers councils and committees to launch a protest campaign against the price jumps, which have affected bread, milk, eggs and other dairy products.

The officials said the planned actions would convince the Labor-dominated government it could not conduct its economic policies without the cooperation of the Histadrut. Some Histadrut sources charged that the government deliberately timed the subsidy cancellations to coincide with the election this week in the United States to divert public attention from the increases. With the election campaign over, Israel may face a serious drive by workers for increased cost-of-living payments, in addition to the established half-yearly payments.

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