Management at Ashdod Port have filed a petition against workers, who on Sunday refused to unload shipments of cement, complaining that they are understaffed.
The port management is seeking to force the union to observe the conditions of a long-standing agreement which says that such shipments can be unloaded by just two workers. The union claims that the agreement was written during a period when supertankers did not exist, and when unloading ships did not entail the level of work required nowadays. Currently, at least one ship carrying 4,750 tons of cement is docked at the port, but is not being unloaded, pending the petition.
The current labor dispute follows another one in June, in which workers refused to come to work because an entry gate they had used for many years was closed, and they were redirected to use another gate nearly two kilometers away. Angry workers, upon seeing the situation, went home, and did not return until management appealed to the courts, which ordered the workers to use the new gates.