Israeli Port Strike Ends

Israeli port workers ended a two-day strike that defied a court order last week  as the Israeli  government signed contracts with operators for two new competing ports that incensed unions, according to Reuters.

China’s Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) will operate a private port in Haifa and the Netherlands’ Terminal International Ltd (TIL), owned by the shipping giant MSC, will run a port to the south in Ashdod. This decision has been opposed by  local dockworkers.

The government said the construction of the new ports next to the already functioning state-run ones will “lead to the lowering of the cost of living” and “promote competition.”

Israeli dockworkers claim, in turn, that the new foreign-run ports will hurt their livelihood, accusing the transport minister and the Israeli government of violating their rights and refusing to negotiate with them.

The two-day strike that was attended by almost 2,500 port workers on Wednesday and Thursday, despite the Labor Court’s orders to the employees to return to work and  led to delays in the unloading of over 10 ships at Haifa Port and more than 20 at Ashdod Port.

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