Lynn to Found Rival to Manufacturers Assoc.

The president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, Uriel Lynn, plans to launch a new employers' organization that will compete with the Israel Manufacturers Association. Lynn said that the new entity would create a framework for hundreds of thousands of employers who "are disappointed by the failure of the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations to protect their position against labor, and are concerned by the rise of the Histadrut labor federation."

About six weeks ago the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, headed by Uriel Lynn, ceded from the Manufacturers Association's Federation of Israeli Economic Organization, headed by Shraga Brosh, in protest over the package deal signed between the government, the Manufacturers Association and the Histadrut labor federation. The chambers of commerce was particularly incensed by the union's backing of 16 Knesset bills aimed at strengthening the position of organized labor vis-a-vis employers.

Lynn was especially infuriated by an amendment that would require all employers to permit Histadrut representatives entry to workplaces or face criminal prosecution. "Not even the police are authorized to enter a business freely without firm suspicion of criminal activity being conducted within, while the Histadrut has been given a free hand to make themselves at home," Lynn said.

Another amendment that rankles with Lynn calls for employers are to be subject to criminal proceedings for withholding part or all of their employees' salaries, for reasons beyond their control, such as dire financial straits. There is no reason to subject them to criminal proceedings," Lynn said.

"We are forming a federation of employers similar to the existing model in the U.S. and a few other Western European countries, which will include traders, business owners, service providers and independent entities who do not wish to be represented by the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations, which together with the prime minister has fallen prey to the Histadrut and is no longer protecting employers' interests. Lynn added that the organization would establish institutions, choose a chairman and a managing director and bring in the best lawyers, economists and consultants to provide legal, economic and tactical services to employers.