The Histadrut labor federation on Monday reinstated Alon Hassan as head of the
Ashdod Port union, three months after he suspended himself over corruption
In June, Channel 2 reported Hassan had profited from regular
business arrangements with the ports, often made indirectly with companies in
which he had an interest. The report also alleged that Hassan’s family members
and friends received choice positions and ran intermediate businesses
facilitating profitable deals between Hassan’s companies and the
Hassan denied the allegations, saying that “[I] never mixed my
businesses and my position,” but decided to suspend himself while the Histadrut
investigated the claims.
According to the Histadrut, an investigative
committee led by attorney Yechiel Shamir met over the past few weeks and
examined documents it had requested from Hassan regarding his business dealings.
It found that Hassan held no business dealings with the ports, and said that he
signed an affidavit pledging not to do so in the future.
On Monday, it
announced that Hassan had requested to return to his post, and that its
investigation had found no improper behavior.
“Under these circumstance,
the committee members believe that there is no place to prevent Alon Hassan’s
return to the worker’s union,” the Histadrut said in a release.
Party leader Shelly Yacimovich, whose quick denunciations of Hassan when the
scandal first broke elicited promises on his part to ensure her overthrow in the
party, doubled down on her position on Monday.
“This infuriates me,” she
wrote on her Facebook page.
“Hassan is one rotten apple that stains the
entire labor leadership, all the workers themselves, and us, who fight for
organized labor and believe in it.”
Yacimovich said she found the
committee’s conclusion’s “regretful,” and that Hassan was a symbol of corruption
that would give political firepower to the enemies of organized
Alongside her harsh words, Yacimovich posted a photo of Hassan
with his motorcycle and another of his Mercedes.
The uproar over Hassan
began as the Histadrut sought to prevent government-led reforms that would see
the building of new, private ports to compete with the existing ones. As of yet,
the National Labor Court has blocked the Histadrut from striking over the issue.