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Talks Continue on Economic Program

Histadrut and government representatives resumed talks today aimed at fleshing out the agreements reached in principle early yesterday on how to implement the emergency economic program.

Yesterday’s accord averted a nationwide general strike. But tension remained between the two sides on key issues. Still to be decided is how many government employes will be dismissed and the amount wage-earners will receive in compensation for reduced pay and higher prices.

The aura of goodwill that hovered over the announcement of labor peace yesterday was marred by Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai’s warning today that unless agreements are reached in a few days, the government will resort to emergency regulations on the question of compensation.

The threat to impose the economic program by decree was one of labor’s main grievances. The government also intended to dismiss six percent of the civil service workforce. Histadrut balked and the Treasury agreed to fire only three percent but insists that the rest take a three percent wage cut.

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