A general view shows seagulls in Ashdod port as a storm approaches Israel's shores January 4, 2018. .
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
State-owned Ashdod Port will remain under government ownership for the next five years, financial daily Globes reported Wednesday, after workers' committees opposed privatization of the sea cargo hub.
Citing unnamed senior sources at Ashdod Port, Globes said workers met with Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz in Jerusalem on Monday to discuss their opposition to privatization, which requires the workers' consent.
Histadrut labor federation head Avi Nissenkorn, Ashdod Port CEO Isaac Blumenthal and deputy head of the Government Companies Authority Meir Shamra also attended the meeting.
"The minister granted our wish to remain a government company and not to issue a tender for a private investor. He left an option for privatization in the future," a senior workers' committee source told Globes.
Speaking at the Globes Israel Business Conference last week, Ashdod Port chairwoman Orna Hozman-Bachor expressed confidence in reaching an agreement for wide-ranging reform after an agreement was reached at Haifa Port in July paving the way for privatization.
"I congratulate the Haifa Port Company for signing the reform agreement," said Hozman-Bachor.
"Ashdod Port will not be left behind in terms of port reform agreements. I have been asked by the minister of transport and the Government Companies Authority to personally enter into negotiations, and I intend to appoint a dedicated team of board members so that we can advance towards an agreement," she said.
"We are in the final straight moving toward an agreement, and I am certain that we will reach one too."
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