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Barbed wire and thugs used against Yedioth workers
The management of the Israeli daily newspaper, Yedioth Aharonoth, has cordoned off the workplace with barbed wire, and sent thugs armed with sticks to beat up workers, in order to prevent them from entering the building. Three workers sustained injuries, and one was arrested. These latest actions by management follow an ongoing labour dispute over casualization and the terms of a new wage agreement, which has involved workers (including workers in printing, administration and layout) following a work-to-rule.

הדפסה

Maavak Sozialisti spoke to Haim Meiri, head of the workers committee:

"We've been waging a struggle against attempts by management to destroy organized labour. Management are telling the public that we are struggling to prevent the introduction of new technological improvements in the workplace. Actually, this is not the issue, because we welcome the new technology. The real issue is that management are trying to replace workers who have worked for many years and accumulated tenure, with cheap, casual labour. They've already tried unsuccessfully to buy off the workers leaders, by promising them various positions; they've tried to play off groups of workers against each other, and have started employing workers on individual contracts. They've even hired a guy who's a specialist in destroying organized labour to do the dirty work. He's the same one who was hired to destroy the workers at the Ha'aretz newspaper.

Already, newer workers are on personal contracts, earning below the minimum wage, and do not have the pension rights and conditions of other workers. As a result, workers can find themselves after 4 or 5 years of work on the same salary as when they started."

Management are currently hiring the services of other print shops to get the paper out. They have even resorted to using helicopters, so that workers will be unable to prevent the paper's distribution. Workers have succeeded in destroying thousands of newspapers at news stands.

Using classic divide and rule tactics, the employers sent in Palestinians and foreign workers to man the workplace against the Israeli workers. This shows the need for internationalism and workers unity across the national divide in order to defeat the brutal attacks of the bosses. The success of the struggle requires determination on the part of the workers, and an appeal to other print workers, lorry drivers, etc., to prevent distribution of the paper.

An appeal should be launched to the general public not to buy Yedioth Aharonoth, which claims to be the paper of the nation, but has shown by its action that it will use all means necessary in order to destroy workers conditions.

Messages of support to:
Haim Meiri
Workers Committee
Yedioth Aharonoth
c/o Histadruth
Fax: ++ 972 3 696 9296



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