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Ashdod Port Closed Because of Labor Trouble; Ships Diverted to Haifa

The Israel Port Authority shut down today Israel’s new port of Ashdod, and indicated the new facility would remain closed until labor peace is achieved with the port’s stevedores. The Authority announced that the decision was made by Chairman Zeev Sharef and director Chaim Laskov.

Shipping headed for the port was diverted to Haifa, where 23 ships were anchored last night, excluding ships which were at the docks and being unloaded. The Port Authority decision is to suspend the stevedores until a labor agreement is negotiated and the dockers resume normal work schedules. The Authority blamed the 300 workers for the port shutdown. The stevedores have been staging incessant strikes and slowdowns.