Histadrut Going Ahead with Plans for a General Strike

Some agreement was reported at an economic summit meeting yesterday which lasted well into the night. But Histadrut is going ahead with plans for a nationwide general strike tomorrow, an indication it is far from satisfied with the results so far of negotiations over the government’s emergency economic program.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by Premier Shimon Peres and Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai; Eli Hurwitz, president of the Manufacturers Association; Yisrael Kessar, Secretary General of Histadrut, and Haim Haberfeld, chairman of its trade unions division; Moshe Mandelbaum, Governor of the Bank of Israel; and Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir.

That assemblage of the country’s top political, economic, business, labor and legal leadership indicated the urgency of the situation and the desire of all parties to avoid either crippling strikes or the postponement of measures the government says are the only way to avert economic collapse.

An understanding was said to have been reached that wage-earners will receive a 14 percent cost-of-living increment at the beginning of next month. But there was no agreement on whether workers in the public sector will be compensated at that rate.

An agreement seemed to be in the making on the scheduled mass dismissals of civil service workers. It is said to provide for a 60-day negotiating period between the government and Histadrut to work out terms and timetables. The government had originally intended to dismiss 10,000 civil service employes by decree.

NEXT STORY