May 13, 2018 / 6:32 AM / 6 months ago

Israeli seaports reopen as workers end strike

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli dockworkers on Sunday ended a three-day strike that had shut down the country’s two main seaports after a court ordered them back to work.

Officials at the Mediterranean ports of Ashdod and Haifa said operations had resumed and that cargo ships were once again being unloaded.

The workers had protested against the creation of competing foreign-run docks.

The government, frustrated by labour disputes that have disrupted Israel’s trade arteries for years, gave the green light in 2013 to build new terminals next to the state-run ports of Ashdod and Haifa.

Union leaders have been negotiating with the government over new employment terms given the looming competition.

China’s Shanghai International Port Group will operate a private port in Haifa and Swiss-based Terminal International Ltd (TIL) will run a port to the south in Ashdod.

The government says the new ports will lower the cost of goods across the board.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen

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