Clerical Union Chief Backs Down and Eats Humble Pie

The former chair of the Clerical Workers' Union (Maof), Leon Morozovsky, has given up his attempt to establish a rebel union, outside the confines of the national Histadrut labor federation, and apologized to Histadrut chair Ofer Eini.

Morozovsky's U-turn was fueled by the fact that few union locals were willing to follow him, and probably also by the National Labor Court's rejection of his suit against the national union, in which he demanded recognition of his new union as well as the right to use Maof's offices and other assets.

"I admit and confess that my decision to leave the Histadrut with the Clerical Workers' Union was wrong and could have caused much irreversible damage to Israeli workers," Morozovsky wrote in a letter of apology to Eini. "In retrospect, I realized that workers' rights in Israel will be much greater if the Histadrut is united under a single organization and a single leadership."

Eini read out the letter at a Histadrut conference yesterday and said, "I welcome Morozovsky's recognition that the split would hurt workers, and I accept his apology."

The letter was the result of negotiations between Morozovsky and Eini, which were mediated by associates of the two men. The assumption is that the far-reaching, even humiliating formulation of the letter was intended to allow Morozovsky, who is 52, to receive an early pension allowance until he reaches age 67, in 15 years' time.