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Labor Organizations -The General Federation of Jewish Labour in Palestine. (Histadruth)- in Palestine before 1948 (Nakba), British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume II - Page 757. Chapter XVII: Labour And Wages: Section 6
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Posted on October 28, 2007
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British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine
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Section 6.

LABOUR Organizations.

The General Federation of Jewish Labour in Palestine. (Histadruth).

B9. This is the largest trade union organization in Palestine embracing a substantial majority of the Jewish working class population. 143,000 adults and 8,500 youths were enrolled as on the 1st of January, 1945. It is estimated that this figure represents 75% of all Jewish wage and salary earners in Palestine, whose total is now estimated as 152,000. 38,000 women, included in the above total of adults, are organized within the Federation in a 'Working Mothers' Union'; these are wives of members not gainfully employed. The youths are organized in a body called 'Hanoar Haoved'.

40. Membership is open to all workers irrespective of political party. Communists were excluded from membership until a few months ago. The extreme right wing Revisionists in the National Labour Organization, the orthodox religious but Zionist workers in the Mizrahi Workers Organization and the non-Zionist orthodox traditionalists in the Agudat Israel Workers Organization have formed their own independent labour unions. There are also the General Zionist "B" Labour Organization, the Union of Sephardic and Oriental Workers and the Union of Yemenite Workers, each with very limited membership. (See paragraph 54.)

41. On the 1st of January, 1945, 65,000 members lived in towns and 48,000 in rural areas; 30,400 members were organized in Tel Aviv, 20,100 in Haifa and 8,000 in Jerusalem. These figures are exclusive of non-gainfully employed women.

42. The more important country-wide trade unions of the Histardruth include : the Agricultural Workers Organization; the Union of Railways, Posts, Telegraph and Telephones Workers; the Union of Clerks and Office Employees; the Building Workers' Union; the Metal Workers' Union; the Textile Workers Union; the Union of Workers in Foodstuff Industries; the Leather Workers' Union; the Diamond Workers' Union; the Wood Workers' Union; and the Printing and Stationery Workers' Union.

43. Direct production among Jewish workers in Palestine is most advanced. Very many branches of work are represented in cooperatives affiliated with the General Federation and represented on the Central Council of Cooperatives. Other enterprises take the form of limited companies under the aegis of the Hevrat Ovdim which is virtually the Histadruth in its capacity as an owner of economic enterprise and which is directly controlled by the whole body of members.