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Histadrut Leader Expresses Personal Reservations over Likud Holding Labor Portfolio in Unity Cabinet

Histadrut has taken no official position on the establishment of a Labor-Likud unity government, according to Yisrael Kessar, Secretary General of the trade unions federation. Kesser admitted, however, to personal reservations over Premier-desgnate Shimon Peres’ agreement to allow Likud to hold the Labor portfolio in a unity cabinet.

The Histadrut Central Committee, which met yesterday, indicated that the composition of the national government will have no bearing on internal political forces at work in Histadrut. Kessar said that the abandonment by Mapam of its Knesset alignment with the Labor Party would be effective only on the national level. Alignment unity is expected to be preserved within Histadrut.

Nevertheless, with the formation of a unity government, Likud is expected to demand a greater say and more posts in Histadrut bodies. It claims today to represent about 30 percent of the union membership. Historically however, Herut, the largest component of Likud, played only a minor role in Histadrut and for a time refused to cooperate with the Labor-led trade unions federation.