Port workers demonstration 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The National Labor Court on Monday night ordered the Histadrut Labor Federation
to lay down plans for a strike and allow the nation’s ports to continue working
normally. The court also forbade the Histadrut from striking until September
Hundreds of port workers demonstrated outside the National Labor Court
earlier in the day as it weighed the legality of a possible Histadrut- led
The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce petitioned the
court to declare any possible strikes protesting port reforms
Without a ruling otherwise, the Histadrut, which two weeks
earlier declared a labor dispute at the ports following government plans to
build private ports to compete with the current ones, would have legally been
able to do so as of Tuesday.
The Histadrut argued that although new ports
would not directly alter wage agreements of worker conditions, extra competition
would substantially affect the ports’ finances and lead to lay-offs or worsened
According to Globes
, sources at the court said it was
expected to allow a strike, but the Histadrut was not planning to declare one
until later in the week.
Port reforms are one of several economic
policies the government has put forth to open up the economy and ease the cost
of living. The equivalent of 60 percent of Israel’s GDP is imported and exported
through the ports, making their efficiency crucial for the economy.