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Finance Ministry Official Fired in Dispute over Severance Pay

Hillel Dudai, the Finance Ministry official in charge of labor negotiations, was fired yesterday, apparently in a wage dispute of his own.

Dudai, the third ranking man at the Ministry, was dismissed while conducting negotiations between Histadrut and public service employers as strikes and threats of strikes created turmoil on the labor front. He was the third senior Treasury official to leave this week. The Ministry’s Director General, Emanuel Sharon, resigned Sunday and was followed shortly by Mordechai Frankl, the ministerial economic advisor. Both men quit in policy disputes with Finance Minister Yigal Cohen-Orgad.

According to Cohen-Orgad, Dudai made unacceptable demands and wanted a free negotiating hand in the current labor crisis. Treasury sources said he was seeking severance pay equal to that of a deputy minister and the argument over whether or not he was entitled to it led to his being severed.

The labor negotiations in the public service sector have been taken over by Nissim Baruch, the Finance Ministry’s new Director General who was named Sunday to replace Sharon. They promise to be stormy.

Journalists employed by the Israel Broadcast Authority, the State-owned television and radio services, announced today that they will black out TV screens and silence radios for three days, beginning this Saturday, unless they are granted an equal pay scale with print journalists. The Broadcast Authority directorate apparently agrees that TV and radio newscaster deserve equal pay but say agreement must be ratified by the Finance Ministry.

The broadcast journalists warned that if necessary they will halt all radio and television election campaigning and — probably much worse from the viewpoint fo many Israelis — blackout the Los Angeles Olympic games.

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