Threat Did the Trick? Port Workers Going Back to Work

Israel's port workers will return to work Thursday evening, the workers announced.

The announcement follows the intervention of Avi Nisenkorn, the Chairman of the Histadrut, Israel's umbrella labor federation.

Nisenkorn met the heads of the port laborers' unions, and they agreed on the formation of a small team that will hold intensive negotiations with the state about how to construct the two new ports the government has authorized, while maintaining workers' rights.

After announcing the workers would go back to work, Nisenkorn emphasized that the Histadrut “will continue to support the just struggle of the dock workers, who have a right to safeguard their rights and their employment security.”

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) on Thursday sharply criticized the dock workers at Israel's ports who decided on Wednesday to launch a sudden strike.

"We will not allow the sabotaging of the Israeli economy and (harming) the honor of the state of Israel," warned Katz at the start of a signing ceremony for the activation contracts of Hadarom Port in Ashdod and Hamifratz Port in Haifa.

Katz threatened that the government will issue restraining orders againstthe port workers, after they refused to return to work despite a court ruling on Thursday morning compelling them to do so.

"We've clarified it in previous years and we will clarify it now – it isn't worth it for them to try and test us," Katz emphasized.

The minister continued, "if they don't follow the emergency orders we will demand to arrest them as criminals because they are sabotaging the Israeli economy and harming the position of Israel. They are causing damage. There was no reason for this strike."


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