UPDATE 1-Workers end strike at Israel's Ashdod port
(Add end of strike)
JERUSALEM Dec 20 (Reuters) - Workers at Israel's southern seaport of Ashdod, the country's main trade hub, ended a brief strike on Friday after solving a dispute over the need to wear reflective safety vests.
Tensions at the country's two largest state-controlled seaports, Ashdod and Haifa, have been high this year with the government trying to introduce privately-run piers.
Nearly all Israel's exports and imports are transported by ship, making the port workers unions among the most powerful in the country. The unions oppose any new competition and have threatened to strike should the government or port management disrupt the status quo.
A row over a new directive that employees must start to wear reflective vests in certain areas led to the suspension of two members of the workers' committee, said a spokesman for the Histadrut, an umbrella union representing hundreds of thousands of public sector workers.
The port union then declared a strike in protest at their suspensions.
The Histadrut later said in a statement that the suspensions of the committee members were lifted and the port workers had agreed to return to their normal schedules at the start of the work week. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)
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