The National Labor Court recognizes the legitimacy of a ports strike in response to the government’s decision to privatize ports, but for now, it is forbidding a strike. The judges ordered the state and the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) to continue negotiations, and to report on their progress by October 10. Until then, the workers will not be allowed to go on strike at the ports.
The right-wing government has decided to build two private ports, one each in Ashdod and Haifa, which will compete against the existing ports. The government tenders, issued at the start of July, were for private companies to run and operate ports in Ashdod and Haifa, where they would compete with the existing unionized ports. The decision states, “The National Labor Court has concluded that the state has the authority to decide on the opening of new ports, and it does not need the consent of the workers to this act. However, the state must discuss with them the consequences of this decision.”