Israel Cabinet Hears Report on Losses Caused by Haifa Port Strikers

The six-week slowdown strike by the stevedores and dock workers at the port of Haifa, which was ended last week, had cost Israel’s economy $2,000,000, Moshe Carmel, Minister of Transport, reported to the Cabinet here today.

He said the costs included “waiting money” paid to foreign shippers, while their vessels were at anchor, unable to have their cargoes loaded or unloaded; spoilage of agricultural products; differentials between rail or truck transport of perishable goods and the air-freighting of such goods; and indemnity paid to importers for failure to meet time tables. The port is now being cleared rapidly, Mr. Carmel reported.

In settlement of the labor dispute, the strikers, who had cut their normal loads by more than 50 percent, had won a wage increase of 10 percent for this year and a pledge for a further wage rise by no more than 5 percent next year. Some of the strikers’ grievances are now being evaluated by a special, five-man committee whose decisions are to be binding on both sides, the workers and the ship operators. The committee is to report back in 30 days.

NEXT STORY