Battle Over Ports Resumes

YERUSHALAYIM -

The on-again, off-again war between the government and the Histadrut Labor Federation over the reform of Israel’s ports was on again Sunday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Amid continuing negotiations with the government over the ports, the union announced on Sunday that it would formally declare a labor dispute to commence Monday, which opens the possibility of a strike.

Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini had been expected to call a dispute at a press conference the previous Sunday, but cancelled at the last minute after receiving an invitation to talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instead.

Earlier in July, alongside Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Transportation Minister Israel Katz, Netanyahu released tenders to build two private ports in Ashdod and Haifa that would compete with the notoriously inefficient state-run ports in those cities.

Union leaders vowed to fight, and Netanyahu vowed to crush them. Now they may both have an opportunity to follow up on their pugnacious rhetoric.