TEL AVIV (Feb. 13)
Israel’s new port of Ashdod, closed since Thursday because of a labor dispute between the facility’s 300 stevedores and the Israel Fort Authority, will reopen tomorrow due to Premier Levi Eshkol’s personal intervention.
An agreement between the Authority and the workers was formulated here last night at a top-level meeting of all concerned parties convened by Histadrut, Israel’s federation of labor. The pact also wiped out the threatened resignations of Gen. Chaim Laskow, director of the Port Authority, and Enrico Levi, manager of the facility.
Under the agreement, most of the major disputes at the port have been solved. Work conditions at the Port of Haifa will prevail at Ashdod. They will apply to the stevedores at Ashdod only with regard to wages and fringe benefits, but not to the Haifa work norms. The Authority won its claim that the work norms at Ashdod be determined in accord with special conditions prevailing at the highly-mechanized Ashdod facility.
The Port Authority hold an emergency meeting last night, deciding to accept the Histadrut’s formula. It is understood that the stevedores will also abide by the Histadaut ruling concerning their work conditions and that these terms will be included in their labor contract. The Authority had closed down the Port of Ashdod after the stevedores had implemented a work slow-down, followed by a strike.