Inflation, the bug-bear of modern economies, has brought many sections of Israel's work-force out on strike in support of wage increases.
Inflation, the bug-bear of modern economies, has brought many sections of Israel's work-force out on strike in support of wage increases. Israel's devaluation of the pound is the main factor, together with the dollar devaluation, in the unprecedented rate of inflation. But the general rise in world prices and Israel's imports greatly exceeding her exports have also contributed.
The cost of living has risen by at least 20% in the past year and a new cost of living payment of 10% is due this month. The actual rise in retail prices is estimated at between 50 and 60 per cent because all products are not included in the cost of living basket.
The government has now (19th June) decided on a six-months wage freeze, which is strongly opposed by industry.
Doctors, in the second week of their strike, have refused a wage rise of more than 45%. Only skeleton staff are working in hospitals to attend emergency cases and nurses on the wards are carrying the main work-load.
With elections in October, the government is in a weak position to oppose wage demands because of the possibility of losing popularity with groups whose votes they may need at the polls.
SYNOPSIS: In Israel, an unprecedented wave of strikes is being blamed on inflation -- the bug-bear of modern economies. The upward spiral was sparked off by the devaluation of the Israeli pound.
This, together with dollar devaluation, the rise in world prices, and Israel's heavy reliance on imports, has created the demands for increased wages by many sections of the work force.
The cost of living has risen by at least twenty per cent in the past year but the actual increase in retail prices is estimated at between fifty and sixty per cent. Housing prices in particular have boomed.
The price of cars has risen twice in the last six months.
Almost all commodities in fact have been affected.
The government has announced a six month wage freeze in an effect to restrain the spiral. The freeze has met with strong opposition from industry.
Doctors are among the professionals who have joined in the demand for more money. They have refused a wage rise of more than 45 per cent and are in the second week of their strike.
Skeleton staffs are maintaining emergency services at hospitals and the main work-load in the wards has fallen on the nurses. The wage freeze will be effective until after the October elections.