Ashdod Port Strike Slows Down Operations

YERUSHALAYIM -

A labor slowdown begun earlier this week at Ashdod Port has hampered unloading operations, and management has been frustrated in its effort to enlist the National Labor Court to send union members back to normal work routines.

Although ostensibly the dockworkers are protesting government plans to establish privately operated ports in Ashdod and Haifa to compete with the state-owned facilities, management claims that the current labor action is a function of union politics.

Union boss Alon Hassan and his deputy Avinoam Shoshan ordered dockworkers to refuse to unload automobiles from ships, participate in committees charged with hiring new dockworkers and attending a professional training course.

“Hassan is waging a personal battle in order to divert attention from the investigations against him and is using his job in order to achieve personal gains while harming the port’s clients and employees,” Gideon Siterman, chairman of the Ashdod Port Company’s board, charged.

Hassan is being investigated for alleged conflicts of interest between his job as head of the port workers’ union and personal business investments.

On Monday, the labor court ordered workers to end their slowdown, but it seems that it has not been effecitve in getting operations back to normal.