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Israel Hit by Labor Disputes

October 25, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Hospitals and clinics run by Kupat Holim, the Health Insurance Institution of Histadrut, were shut down today except for emergency cases as physicians declared a one-day strike to protest the appointment of Asher Yadlin, a non-medical man as chief administrator of the sick-fund. Another labor dispute closed the custom house at Lod Airport where incoming cargo has been piling up on the airfield for the past two days. Customs inspectors continued to process incoming passengers but are carrying out slow-down and rule book actions which have created extensive delays.

A potentially disastrous three-day strike by employes of the Bank Leumi and the Israel Discount Bank, the country’s two largest commercial banks, was narrowly averted yesterday when the employes were granted a 17 percent wage hike and fringe benefits. Only last Thursday, Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir had warned the bank managements not to give in to the wage demands which he said would have “destructive consequences for the entire economy.”

A two-day lock-out which suspended operations at 22 flour mills all over Israel was ended today by order of Minister of Commerce and Industry Haim Barlev. The mill owners shut down their plants Sunday in reprisal against a slowdown by workers demanding higher wages. Negotiations are underway to try to settle the dispute.


Meanwhile, Israel is faced with the threat of a nationwide bus strike Thursday unless the government yields to demands for a substantial fare increase by the two bus cooperatives, Dan and Egged. Although the strike is scheduled to be limited to the non-rush hours, it is expected to seriously disrupt transportation. Dan serves the Tel Aviv area and Egged provides the main intercity transportation system.

The bus co-ops say the government must either subsidize their operational losses or grant a fare hike to cover the losses. The Cabinet appointed a ministerial committee Sunday to decide if a fare increase is justified and if so, how much. The bus management has demanded a 28 percent increase. The public is venemently opposed to the hike.

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