Gad Shefer, head of the Israel Industrialists Association, on Monday appealed to workers at Haifa Port not to go on strike, saying that Israel could not afford a strike at the port at such an economically sensitive time. The workers are considering striking after the recent approval of a plan to develop areas of the current port for tourism. The workers declared a work dispute when the plan was approved, saying that they feared that some workers would be let go if there was less cargo coming into the port.
Shefer said that both workers and those using the port's services had an interest in keeping the port operating. He said that he agreed that the port must continue operating at full capacity, but that workers should not damage the facility's importance by shutting it down and perhaps giving shippers an opportunity to use alternative methods to ship goods into Israel.