TEL AVIV (Dec. 28)
A new labor dispute with Haifa dock workers has halted all loading of citrus for export and has imperiled the current citrus export schedule, officials reported today. The conflict developed when new citrus loading crews were introduced by the Port Authority over opposition of the regular dock workers.
The officials said that all loading to ships was halted and that the port was now filled to capacity with crates of fruit awaiting shipment. They added that the port itself was in a virtual bottleneck of all movement because of the pileup of unloaded fruit. Gen. Ezer Weizmann, the new Transport Minister, took up the problem immediately.
The Citrus Marketing Board said it was considering an order for total halting of all citrus picking because all packaging houses in Israel were filled, as were those in Haifa and Ashdod. Groves in Western Galilee were empty of workers today because the regional packing house was jammed with fruits awaiting movement to the ports.