National Labor Court orders port employees to return to work at 6 a.m.

The National Labor Court on Tuesday night ordered all Israel's port employees to return to work at 6 a .m. Wednesday morning. It follows labor sanctions launched last week by Ashdod and Haifa port workers to protest a clause in the 2009 Economic Arrangements Bill passed by the cabinet. Theclause would allow the Israel Ports Company to manage operations at the ports in addition to the agreed role of acting as Israel's port-property landlord, which entails managing the government's assets allocated for the facilitation of its international maritime commerce. The Histadrut Labor Federation declared a labor dispute in all of Israel's ports in response to the Treasury's plan. The National Labor Court also ordered the government to negotiate with the workers and Histadrut representatives in order to resolve the dispute. The court announced that the talks would last three weeks and until then, the plan would be frozen.