Sea ports shut down in strike over pension funds

Histadrut launches open-ended strike in Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat ports after late-night talks with the Finance Ministry break down.

Haifa port 521 (photo credit: LIAT COLLINS)
Haifa port 521
(photo credit: LIAT COLLINS)
Israel's major sea ports shut down Sunday morning as workers launched an open-ended strike. Workers and the Histadrut called the strike late Saturday night after negotiations with the Finance Ministry failed to bring a resolution to workers' complaints about the management of their pension funds.
The ports of Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat all stopped operating at 6 a.m.
The Histadrut's main demand has to do with the accounts in which workers' pension funds are being managed by the port companies, which they worry may be used to cover future losses. The workers and Histadrut were demanding changes to the way contributions to the funds are managed and that the money be transferred, which they said is similar to the way pension funds are managed at the Israel Airports Authority.
Earlier this month, the Histadrut held a general strike over a labor dispute centering on its demand that the government directly employ contract workers. The National Labor Court ordered that port workers be excluded from that strike.
Nurses had also been expected to launch a "warning strike" Sunday but delayed it by one day in order to give talks more time to succeed. Nurses are protesting overcrowding of hospitals, being overworked and a shortage of nurses in the health system.