Israeli Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich was in Brussels on Wednesday (2 November) meeting heads of Jewish fund-raising organisations.
SV AND MV: protesters outside Knesset in Jerusalem (2 shots)
SV PAN: Knesset in session, listening to speech by Finance Minister, Simcha Erlich. (2 shots)
CU PAN: Sign: Israel Discount Bank.
SV: people waiting for bank to open.
CU: money being handed to bank cashier.
SV AND CU: idle workers at entrance to factory. (3 shots)
SV: workers standing and seated, outside office.
GV ZOOM INTO: idle workers chatting alongside parked cars.
CU: El Al sign at checking in desk of airport.
CU: baggage and waiting passengers at terminal.
GV: parked aircraft (2 planes)
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Background: Israeli Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich was in Brussels on Wednesday (2 November) meeting heads of Jewish fund-raising organisations. He told newsmen the visit would give him an opportunity to meet European Common Market leaders and explain Israel's new economic policy, which has not been well received by Israelis. Before he left, he addressed Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
SYNOPSIS: In Jerusalem, protesters gathered outside Knesset while Erlich was inside explaining his ideas to other ministers. Protest strikes have already shut railways, factories and the port of Haifa. Ill-feeling is growing because the latest economic policy switch has caused price increases. Trade union leaders have demanded immediate compensation for the workers, and Israelis with money to spare have showed little inclination to take advantage of their newly-granted right to buy US dollars at will. In fact, many bank managers report that more people have been selling dollars than buying them.
On the second full day of trading in the Israeli pound since it was allowed to float under the new policy, the currency rose slightly in value as the dollar eased back on lack of demand. A leader of the Histadrut Trade Union Federation, Uriel Abramovitch, has demanded a mandatory cost-of-living increase in all wages next month instead of waiting for one due in April. The last cost of living review raised wages by 8.8. percent in October. Mr Abramovitch says the present series of strikes will strengthen demands.
A 24-hour walkout by maintenance workers for El Al, the national airline, grounded all the company's flights, as passengers waited with their baggage at the airport. Another walkout kept about 12,000 workers away from their jobs in the southern coastal industrial centre of Ashdod. The Government is complaining that the strikes are being organised for political rather than economic reasons.