WASHINGTON (Aug. 31)
Yeruham Meshel, secretary general of Histadrut, spent three days here this week as guest of the AFL-CIO. Israel’s top-ranking labor leader, who was invited to come here by AFL-CIO president George Meany, was told by the American labor leader that he fully agreed with the Histadrut position opposing compulsory arbitration in labor disputes, a step favored by the Likud government. Meany also reportedly told Meshel that if there is a confrontation between the Likud government and Histadrut, “I’ll be on your side.”
During his visit here, Meshel also met with Vice President Walter Mondale and Labor Secretary Ray Marshall. Mondale assured the Israeli labor leader that the U.S. would continue to aid Israel, and extended good wishes to Histadrut. “I am almost a member of Histadrut myself,” he said, after explaining that he had spoken on behalf of the Israel labor federation many times.
Meshel invited Marshall to visit Israel, to see the “unique qualities of Histadrut.” Marshall, who has not yet been to Israel, expressed on interest in such a visit, and hailed the work of Histadrut in South America, where Israelis are helping to establish cooperative enterprises for the workers. Meshel elaborated on the role of Histadrut’s Afro-Asian Institute, through which it maintained contact with many Third World countries that had no diplomatic relations with Israel. Meshel left tonight for Toronto, where he will address the Executive Council of the United Automobile Workers.