Histadrut Leader Orders All Firms Controlled by the Union to End All Trade Links with South Africa

Histadrut Secretary-General Yisrael Kessar has ordered all industrial enterprises controlled by the trades union federation to break all commercial ties with South Africa, once present contracts have expired.

His move followed a complaint by Civil Rights Movement Knesset member Ran Cohen that Iskoor, a company owned by the Histadrut’s giant Koor Industries, last year bought $25 million worth of steel and scrap iron from South African.

Cohen charged that Iskoor had set up a front company in Switzerland called Talronics to conceal its dealings with South Africa. The Jerusalem Post wrote Thursday that Kessar had initially refused to respond to Cohen’s charges, but Wednesday summoned heads of Hevrat Haovdim, the Histadrut’s holding company, and of Koor Industries to impress on them that they must follow the Histadrut’s policy of ending all trade links with South Africa.

They reportedly told Kessar they had already given such instructions but noted that Iskoor last year signed a five-year contract with South Africa which would be too expensive to cancel.

Cohen said he would continue his investigations into the Iskoor affair, claiming that other European countries had broken even more expensive contracts with South Africa. He said he also understood that the last Iskoor contract was for three years with an extra three-year option, and not a five-year deal as Koor had reported.

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