Court Orders Ashdod Port Worker to End Strike

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Beersheva District Labor Court on Monday ordered Ashdod Port Company workers back to the docks, ending a one-day wildcat strike, Globes reported.

Labor Court President Orly Sella issued the injunction after the local union and the Histadrut failed to respond to a motion by the company. She ruled that the injunction will stay in effect at least until a hearing in the presence of both parties at 11 a.m.

The strike was called to protest a management decision to stop hiring workers who are relatives of the workers committee’s members.

A report released last week showed that nepotism in the ports is rampant, with over 40 percent of the employees related to each other, the highest in Israel.

Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz evinced no sympathy for the workers, saying in a statement, “[Ashdod Port workers committee chairman] Alon Hassan has again shut down Ashdod Port. This time, he is demanding jobs for his relatives. The last time, it was because of a bar mitzvah for his son in the middle of the day.

“What, there aren’t enough jobs at his fast food joints and straw companies? Only the planned reform will bring this to an end,” Katz said, referring to a government initiative to clamp down on nepotistic hiring practices.

Meanwhile, a casualty of the walkout was the voluntary organization Yad Sarah. Hundreds of new wheelchairs purchased by the organization were stuck in the Ashdod port because of the dispute. This is Yad Sarah’s busiest time of the year, lending out medical equipment before Pesach.

As Pesach is such a family occasion, the inability of the sick and old to stay with relatives is very difficult, said Yad Sarah services and branches director Moshe Cohen.

Wheelchairs, oxygen balloons, walkers, hospital beds and pulleys to help patients get in and out of bed and wheelchairs and other pieces of medical equipment are lent out, some 20,000 items in all, before the festival.