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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Mifratz Port Workers in Haifa Unionize Across 4 Companies

More than 200 contractors providing services for the Mifratz port in Haifa established four unions simultaneously | Union representatives: “From now on, no worker walks alone”

ועד הפעולה של חברות קו המים בנמל המפרץ, עם נציגי ההסתדרות (צילום: דוברות ההסתדרות)
The action committee of the new unions along with Histadrut leadership. (Photo: Histadrut spokesperson)
By Nizzan Zvi Cohen

Contractors working on the waterfront at the Mifratz port in Haifa unionized as a part of the Histadrut last week. The workers, in roles such as signalmen, drivers, longshoremen, and general cargo workers, are from four separate companies that provide various services at the waterfront. They established four unions, signing on more than half the workers at each company.

The four companies—Almog Tally and Storage, Kavyam Sea Port Services, Up-Tech, and Nachshol Sea Services—employ more than 200 workers, who provide services to Shanghai International Port Group, the Chinese company that operates the port.

Amichai Satinger, director general of the Histadrut labor union division, sent out letters to the management of each company declaring the unionization and called on the management to quickly begin collective bargaining negotiations with the unions. The unionization effort is a result of the will of the workers to have a collective agreement regulating labor at the port, as is the case in other ports in Israels, in order to improve working conditions and industrial safety. The Histadrut’s unionizing division, Haifa branch, and transportation workers’ union all advised the port workers throughout the process.

Representatives from the action committees said, “Mere hundreds of meters separate the Mifratz port from the port of Haifa, but a massive gap exists in terms of wages and working conditions. We, the contractors, are invisible, and the time has come to take care of us as well. We chose to lead a united process of unionization simultaneously throughout all the companies in order to send a message of unity and solidarity. From now on, no worker walks alone. We call on the different managements to recognize the declarations and to quickly enter negotiations. We are sure that together, through respectful, eye-level dialogue, we will bring achievements to the companies and the workers as one.”

Satinger, the Histadrut labor union division director general, said, “We are proud of and happy with the complex unionization of four separate companies simultaneously. The workers delivered a resounding message of solidarity, and we will continue to stand by their side all the time.”

Eyal Yadin, general secretary of the transportation workers’ union, also expressed his pride in the unionization. “We welcome the waterfront workers at the Mifratz port to the house of workers in Israel. The transportation workers’ union of the Histadrut leads the marine branch, with thousands of workers at ports throughout the country. This unionization is a force multiplier, and it emphasizes the fact that the workers are full partners in the success of the ports.”

Moshe Mizrahi, chair of the Histadrut’s Haifa region, said of the unionization, “I welcome the workers. The Haifa branch is the home of all the workers of the ports of Haifa and will be at their disposal in order to provide the most dedicated services. Together, we will achieve more for the workers.”

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