The National Labor Court is expected to announce its decision in the next few days on whether the Histadrut labor federation may strike over port privatization, after postponing a decision on the matter in a hearing on Tuesday. The labor federation submitted an interim study analyzing the effect privatized ports would have on workers to the court ahead of the hearing, arguing that reforms that brought down prices would “necessarily cause serious harm to the salaries of all the workers at the ports and will endanger their jobs.”
Alongside Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Transportation Minister Israel Katz, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released tenders to build private ports in Ashdod and Haifa in July. At the time, the prime minister promised that “any efforts to block reforms in the nation’s ports would be crushed.” When the labor federation seemed intent on going on strike over the matter in July, the court intervened, freezing the tenders and ruling out a strike for a month while the two sides negotiate. Last week, the court allowed the freeze on the tenders to lapse. When Katz originally announced his intention to release the tenders, he laid out a detailed plan to subvert a possible strike, including the possibility of bringing in foreign companies to run the ports.