TEL AVIV (Jul. 2)
The Electric Corp is rationing power today to avoid a total blackout that could be the result of the strike by employes of the State-owned utility.
The strike, in its second day, has one more day to go and a spokesman for the Electric Corp. said it would be forced to “shed the load” because of reduced generating capacity while the big coal-fired power plant at Hedera switches to oil. This means that certain parts of the country will be temporarily blacked out, hopefully for no longer than a half hour at a time, the spokesman said.
The oil-burning generators cannot be cut in immediately because the furnaces have to be cleaper of accumulated ash. Coal is a much cheaper fuel in Israel and oil will cost the Hedera plant an extra half million dollars a day according to management. The Energy Ministry said it would issue immediate back-to-work orders to essential employes to ensure minimum production.
Meanwhile, tourists are suffering from a strike by hotel employes who walked off their jobs this morning. Managers are trying to provide minimal service but guests had to fix their own breakfasts. They seem to be taking the discomfort in good spirit, except for departing guests who had to carry their own luggage.
Another strike is threatened by 70,000 publicly employed engineers and academicians who are dissatisfied with the wage agreement Histadrut signed with the government last week. They plan a mass demonstration outside Histadrut headquarters tomorrow and are threatening to quit the trade union federation.