Ashdod Port Company intends to implement the process of immediately hiring 32 new dockworkers from a group of 80 that are intended to be hired during H1 2018 for the operations sector, but the move is opposed by the dockworkers’ union
The new employees will come from specific population groups: Women, Ethiopian immigrants and minorities including Druze, Muslims and Circassians.
Port management says that hiring the new employees is vital to improve, deepen and expand the customer service. The new dockworkers will help shorten ship turnaround time, stimulate cargo increases and reduce costs for Israeli importers and exporters.
The move is supported by the Israeli Shipping Bureau, but the General Organization of Labour representing the dock workers is opposed to it and this led to a number of work stoppages recently, with more action threatened.
"It is unfathomable that the employees’ representatives backed by the General Organization of Workers are protesting the hiring of new manpower for the company and are trying to hamper the efforts to create new sources of employment and livelihood in southern Israel," said Isaac Blumenthal, CEO of Ashdod Port Company.
"This is a ridiculous situation in light of the fact that [last Sunday, 25th January] Ashdod Port was shut down along with most of the economy due to extensive dismissals that took place recently all over Israel, including the south and Ashdod itself.
"Hiring new employees at Ashdod Port Company is the responsibility of company management and they alone are authorised to decide in this matter. We will continue to hire the process of hiring new employees as planned and we will not tolerate disruptions.
"If the union acts on its threats we will not hesitate to go to Labor Court and to employ all measures at our disposal in order to ensure continuous customer service and port activity, which is so vital for the Israeli economy."