Striking Workers and Their Bylines Return to Embattled Jerusalem Post

Israel’s only English-language daily returned to a semblance of normality this week, as the union-management struggle at the Jerusalem Post took a new twist.

After a week of unsigned news articles, familiar bylines reappeared in the paper when most striking editorial staff members returned to work at the invitation of Post President and Publisher Yehuda Levy.

Levy, who had earlier fired the hold-outs, demanded that they sign individual contracts as a condition of their rehire. But most of the employees refused to do so, not wanting to forfeit the protection of their union, the Israel Journalists Association.

The fired workers are presently awaiting a labor court’s decision on the temporary injunction they obtained voiding their dismissals.

The union staff committee was taken aback by the return to work, but assented as long as the members do not sign personal contracts with the publisher.

Labor circles consider that a blatant attempt at union-busting. They have accused Levy of violating a contractual agreement limiting non-union members to 20 percent of the editorial staff.

According to a report in the daily Ma’ariv, the Jerusalem Labor Council appealed to Histadrut for an advertising boycott of the Post by all of the labor federation’s many enterprises.

In other media-related news, the income tax authorities reportedly seized equipment from the offices of the Labor Party newspaper Davar for alleged failure to pay taxes.

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