Israel port strike settled as workers win 6% pay increase, big gains for new workers, more vacation and sick days

A three day long strike that crippled Israel’s ports is now over, with the union having secured a 6% pay increase for workers and an additional 5% for the least senior members (workers hired after 2005).  The Histadrut called the deal “fair for both both sides”.

According to a report in  yesterday’s Ha’aretz, employers had tried unsuccessfully to get a court order ending the strike which tied up dozens of ships.

The Jerusalem Post, which opposed the strike and previously wrote “Union chieftains must be made personally accountable for the damage they are wreaking” reported on the strike settlement here.

The financial daily Globes spun the result as a victory for the union, saying:

The Ministry of Finance said that the deal was a “huge achievement”, because it claimed that the Histadrut had demanded a 15% pay hike. Reality is a bit different: the Histadrut’s 15% demand was only a starting position, and its more recent demand was 9% over three years, or 3% a year. In other words, the ports workers got what they wanted – a 3% annual pay hike, albeit for two years instead of the three.

And the Globes report added the following:

The Ministry of Finance also agreed to another Histadrut demand: ports employees hired in 2004-05 will receive an additional 5% pay hike, for a total raise of 11%. This pay raise was awarded to public sector employees in 2008, but the agreement did not cover these employees. The Ministry of Finance also agreed to increase the number of vacation days for ports workers as well as the number of sick days that they can redeem.