Ashdod port 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ashdod Port CEO Shuki Sagis announced on Sunday he would step down in November after eight years, Army Radio reported.
Sagis had a tense relationship with Ashdod Port chairman Gideon Siterman over the role of the union, according to Globes.
Tensions over proposed port reforms exacerbated the situation. While Sagis, a vocal ally of Ashdod Port workers committee chairman Alon Hasson, supported strong cooperation with the union, the Port company signed on to a petition to the National Labor Court on Thursday that would halt a reform-related strike.
Informal discussions at the court on Sunday failed to lead to an agreement between the petitioners, led by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the Histadrut Labor Federation.
The court will hold a formal hearing to decide the legality of a potential strike on Monday.
At the start of July, the government issued tenders for private companies to build and run ports in Ashdod and Haifa to compete with the existing ones. Although the reforms do not directly go after wage agreements or working contracts, the unions accused the government of trying to undermine organized labor and the financial position of the existing ports.
On July 15, the Histadrut Labor Federation declared a labor dispute which could open the path for a strike as early as Tuesday if the National Labor Court does not intervene.
“I am well aware of Sagis’s great sensitivity about how the planned reform of the seaports will be carried out,” Siterman said in response to the CEO’s announcement, according to Globes.
“I am aware that a great many officials at the Finance and Transport Ministries yearn for his experience and know-how in this process. During his work, we had our disputes and disagreements, but there was no, and there will be no, disputing his professionalism, dedication, and love of his job and the company.”