Bennett backs Lapid's seaport reform
Moran Azulay
Published: 25.04.13, 09:12
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20 Talkbacks for this article
1. Chutzpah
EM ,   Ra'anana   (04.25.13)
Bennet/Lapid aren't saying anything about capping the outrageous salaries..just privatization. Which judging from the port workers reaction, they know that no private company would pay forklift driver tens of thousands of shekels per month...EVEN if they work outside and in the rain. And that's the 'low end' of port work payment scale today. Way to go Bennet/Lapid!
2. education
joemoer ,   iSrael   (04.25.13)
reeducation for avi edri is all that is needed..'who moved my cheese' is an excellent starting point . to yair and bennet....go go go ..i am so happy you are in the government
3. Breaking a contract is not a good way to start
Eric ,   Tel Aviv & NY   (04.25.13)
As much as I hate the power that the Histadrut wields in Israel, this time it sound like they are actually in the right. An contract that includes a clause not to privatize until 2020 will hold up in court, and would require both sides to agree to modifications - thus real negotiations are needed.
4. #1, #3
israel israeli ,   tel aviv   (04.25.13)
Because they are so powerful, the port unions are the most lazy and corrupt members of Israeli society. Their corruption is the third biggest brake on the economy, after the insurance companies and the banks. Unlike the banks and insurance companies who target the middle class, the victims of the port unions are the poor. When the port unions are broken, the Israeli economy will start blossoming. #3: then the only choice is to negotiate with Hamas to use Gaza port.
5. Right path
Daniel ,   Netherlands   (04.25.13)
Airport, airlines or port employees trully believe those organizations exist to provide them with good and secure work conditions. With the Open Skies agreement, the entire country and public will benefit, but the selfish workers are blackmailing an entire country just to enjoy their own good conditions. Israel should break all the monopolies. All of them, also the milk and dairy. I pay in Israel up to 5 times more for the same products. An entire country prisoner of a couple of hundred workers???
6. On the right track
R ,   Israel   (04.25.13)
We are all paying for a small minority to have crazy benefits. I'll be hit by the measures also, but I'm willing to undergo "hardship" for the sake of improving the overall situation.
7. Go! go! go! Lapid and Bennett! Kol hakavod!
Vered, Israel   (04.25.13)
8. The Unions of the Rich keep the prices we pay up!
Dee Bee ,   Israel   (04.25.13)
The Harbors, the Railways, the Airlines, the Electricity Corporation, and Mekorot (the water company) pay their workers salaries that Ricky Cohen or Hadera can only dream about and the Union Boss, Offer Eini (I wonder what he is paid) is protecting them! Eini and the Histadrut have an obligation to protect the rights of worker not to make a few rich! He campaigns for these extortionists who hold the country to ransom but he pays lip service to the overworked , non-unionized workers in small companies, the local grocer, the car workshops and the supermarkets! Many of these high paid people do have very responsible jobs, some dangerous, but when they strike they don't hurt the government or the rich, they hurt the middle class and those tying to eke out a living and pay their bills!
9. Maggie Thatcher with a kipah
avramele   (04.25.13)
So much for championing the interests of ordinary hard working Israelis. The last vestige of Israeli socialism will be the heavy subsidies that bolster the settlement enterprise.
10. Then, why lapid is against Privatization of ICL?
mb ,   brazil   (04.25.13)
It doesn't make sense. I think Israel must persuit the growth of is economy. Seeking forgein investiments, like ports and rail roal ( med red ), and others that will bring billions of dollars to Israel . It doesn't make sense lapid is against privatization of ICL, that is not in condition to compete efficiently at global market. The only way to many Israeli firms is to join effort with others companies and get stronger economy
11. So what will change?
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (04.25.13)
Instead of being government owned, the ports will be privately owned via limited liability partnerships among a very few investors. Instead of privatizing the ports, the Israeli government should simply create public corporations, and limit the share ownership so that significant investors cannot hog all the shares. Restrict the ownership of the shares to individuals, to allow all Israelis to participate in the shareholding -- thus no one can hide behind shell corporations. Conduct a little due diligence to make sure that wealthy families do not make every member of their extended families shareholders. Simply privatizing the ports will not solve the problem -- it will make the already wealthy considerably wealthier, and it will exclude the average Israeli. The ports need to become public companies, so that any Israeli who wants to spend some money can purchase shares. I assure you that if private entrepreneurs or a group of investors are allowed to take over control and operation of the ports, the companies they form will be private partnerships. That would be worse than government ownership. Nothing like having a board of directors answerable to the shareholders. Ports are very lucrative operations -- nearly all of the world's cargo travels by sea. Israel needs to make sure that all Israelis can invest in a profitable venture. Otherwise, you're only trading the old for a newer version of the same thing.
12. To: Eric at No. 3
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (04.25.13)
Actually, if you can prove corruption, the contract is null and void on its face. It shouldn't be hard to prove -- start with the stevedores. They are famous throughout the maritime industry and the admiralty law world for requiring bribes to take on and to discharge cargo. Cargo vessels make money by being at sea, not berthed idly in port because the stevedores are staging a slowdown because a vessel's owner doesn't want to pay a bribe. I note for the record that this is common practice throughout the world. But Israel can be the first to put a stop to the practice.
13. Be careful what you wish for..
Passerby ,   NL   (04.25.13)
Israel being a small country, chances are the executives of these companies will run into each other on a daily bases and are bound to become part of tightly knitted circles. They might at some point realize competition is hard work and low profit (or with high fixed costs in ports, overcapacity, given that the ports are close together and ships in theory would dock in the port that is one dollar cheaper - without an agreement all of them run the risk of not even recovering fixed costs, without hidden agreements.. so it might occur to them at some point to as necessarily to make them, even if they would start out with genuinely good intentions). Probably best would be to hold one state owned company, offering plain vanilla port services and perhaps even the accounting should be open wiki-style where possible. The company would be state owned, but run on the same terms as the market to prevent false competition (interest rates should be market rates, reporting and accounting laws apply - it should be ran as a private company with the exception all the share are held by local and national government bodies). The port would only provide plain vanilla services and focused on price - the task for competition would be to develop broader services justifying a better price or be more efficient and undercut the price of a solid, transparently run companies and deserve a well earned profit for that. I think with ports in Israel in such close proximity otherwise the best achievable would be oligopoly and not a competitive market (price regulation might otherwise be the better option).
14. Another Sacred Cow
EM ,   Ra'anana   (04.25.13)
While Lapid and Bennet are setting up terms to tackle exagerated Haredi funding and the Israel Ports Authority; there is another 'sacred cow' which they should target. Retiring army career officers at the age of 45. From that point...they are paid very nice pensions which probably take a big chunk of the defense budget. Instead of increasing the retirement age of women from 62 to 67...I am sure the country would benefit much more by not having to pay large monthly pensions for thousands of mostly men for 30 to 40 years each!
15. To: No. 13
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (04.25.13)
Nice try, but if the government is the sole shareholder ... the government is responsible for everything. There are no private shareholders. No, I think the best option is to create public companies, with very close due diligence over who can purchase shares, and how many chan be purchased by a single individual. By the way, in case you aren't aware, the port of Rotterdam is the single most corrupt port in the world. Perhaps you should clean up your own house before making silly suggestions about what Israel should do.
16. To: No 15
Passerby NL   (04.25.13)
What makes you think the Rotterdam port is corrupt? Btw falsification between container terminals is a no brainer - as executive you just need to make a secret arrangement on the number or key cranes, they can be the bottleneck (usually the stack space is built for growth, etc). Even with a brilliant sales force not in on the arrangement, the whole system is beautifully manipulated. Some people just look at the cranes visiting a port ;) But why i would plead for a dual system is that one party would not easily 'fit in' on these kind of arrangements. The shareholder being the government would have the general interest at mind (which could be healthy pricing), rather than maximum profit. The other thing is as a shareholder the government is informed about what goes on - which in an anti-trust investigation they probably would be so far behind that they might never catch up.. if these executives decide on key cranes in a sauna, such an arrangement can hold for years and is very hard to proof (also because you can keep it in a very small circle).
17. Adding to 16
Passerbij NL ,   (myself)   (04.25.13)
Well, quay cranes instead of key cranes probably makes more sense..
18. When they strike, bring port workers from Cyprus.
Michael ,   California, USA   (04.25.13)
Remember the Ronald Reagan method applied when air traffic controllers went on strike. It passed and the American traffic controls are fine. Bennett is correct, port strikers will lose and their opposition will pass. Let them become taxi drivers.
19. To: No. 16
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (04.25.13)
I don't THINK it, I KNOW it. More lawsuits and arbitrations are brought against the various port agencies at Rotterdam than against any other port in the world -- and that includes some pretty dicey ports. To lead that category -- ahead of Lagos, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg! -- should be a matter of great embarrassment for the Dutch. The shareholder being the government would change nothing, by the way. The government already ostensibly runs the show at Israeli ports. What would you have them do that is different? Dissolve the unions? Good luck with that one. Your suggestion, while doubtless well-meaning, is absurd.
20. To: No. 17
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (04.25.13)
Actually, they are known as gantry cranes, but unless you know the maritime industry as well as I do, you could not be expected to know that. It's okay -- I knew exactly what you meant.
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