“2,000 workers won’t be allowed to bring the country to its knees”

The right-wing Netanyahu government is talking tough in the face of a port workers’ strike which could begin any day now.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz is telling journalists that a strike now seems likely but will not succeed in changing the government’s plan to privatize Israel’s ports — which would almost certainly result in a weakening of union power, and a lowering of wages and working conditions.  Two thousand workers, he said (referring to the unionized port workers) will not be allowed to bring Israel to its knees.

According to Avi Edri, head of Israel’s transport workers union, “workers are under attack on all fronts.”

He added that “people need to learn not to use words like ‘eradicate’ or rile up the workers with slogans on Facebook,” alluding to comments by Katz and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.  Bennett infamously compared port workers to cockroaches and spoke of the need for “extermination” in a widely-condemned gaffe.