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Histadrut reinstates port union head after alleged corruption
By NIV ELIS
30/09/2013
Findings reveale Alon Hassan held no business dealings with the ports.
 
The Histadrut labor federation on Monday reinstated Alon Hassan as head of the Ashdod Port union, three months after he suspended himself over corruption allegations.

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 port.

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.

Labor 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 labor.

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.
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