Becker, Aharon

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BECKER, AHARON (1906–1995), Israeli labor leader. Born in Kobrin, Belorussia, Becker grew up in Brest-Litovsk, where he joined the Zionist labor youth movement and *He-Ḥalutz. In 1925 he settled in Palestine. He was a construction worker in Petaḥ Tikvah and Tel Aviv and cofounder of Ha-Baḥarut ha-Soẓyalistit ha-Ivrit, the union of young members of *Aḥdut ha-Avodah. He started his career as a *Histadrut worker in 1929 as the secretary of the workers' council in Ramat Gan; he later worked in Tel Aviv in various trade unions and was on its workers' council. He was an initiator of the cost-of-living scale for wages and salaries. In 1947 Becker was appointed by Ben-Gurion to organize the supply department of the Haganah and later of Israel's army, but in 1949 returned to Histadrut work, becoming the chairman of its executive's trade union department, a post he held for 12 years. From 1961 until 1969 he served as the Histadrut's secretary-general. He maintained many international contacts, and regularly attended the conferences of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, serving on its governing body from 1957 until 1971. Becker was elected to the Knesset (from the Third to the Seventh Knesset) on the Mapai and Labor Party ticket. He published a book entitled Bi-Ymei Shilton ha-Labor ("In the Period of Labor Government," 1955), after visiting Britain in the early 1950s, and Ha-Oved be-Yisrael ("The Worker in Israel," 1970).

[Shmuel Soler]