Construction work started this week (Tuesday) with a ground-breaking ceremony on one of the two new Mediterranean ports planned by the Israeli government as part of its reform of the country’s ports. Earlier this month (October), the government also announced that it is to privatise the country’s two existing state-owned ports in Ashdod and Haifa in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Both actions are in defiance of threats by the country’s powerful labour unions to prevent the development of competing private ports and the privatisation of the existing facilities. According to reports from Reuters, the move has prompted strike action at the present Haifa port, where workers complained that the new ports would hurt their jobs.
It was in July last year (2013) that CM first revealed that Israel’s government was looking to break the monopoly of the two state-owned ports, through which nearly all the country’s exports and imports pass. The move, it says, will bring down the cost of goods across the board.