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500 staffers at cargo terminal face layoffs

Close to 500 workers at Ben-Gurion International Airport’s Maman cargo terminal are in danger of being fired when the Israel Airports Authority issues a new tender to operate the facility. Maman’s concession to operate the terminal expires next March and workers say there is nothing to ensure they are hired by the new concessionaire. The issue is being taken up today by the Knesset’s Labor, Welfare and Health Committee with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz likely to attend. Meanwhile the union has petitioned the Central District Court to require the winner of the tender to employ all 486 personnel now working at the terminal at the same terms now in force. ‏(Zohar Blumenkrantz‏)

Small manufacturers see worsening economy

A survey released on Tuesday by the Association of Craft and Industry in Israel found that a third of small manufacturing businesses reported a worsening business climate in the first half of the year, three times the number who said conditions have improved. The remaining 56% of the representative sampling of 70 companies reported no significant change. The survey also found that sales growth among small manufacturers has been marginal, with 78% of respondents saying they expected a slowdown or standstill in the second half of the year. ‏(Oren Majar‏)

North leads rise in home prices with 9.5% jump

The northern district experienced a 9.5% rise in home prices, the sharpest anywhere in the country, in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, the Gazit Globe IDC Index published on Tuesday showed. Prices rose 8% in both the Haifa and southern districts. The national average increase of 3.5% reinforces other findings indicating that the steep rise in housing prices over recent years has begun to level off. In metropolitan Tel Aviv prices rose 5.7% on average during the 12-month period, with prices in the city itself up by a more moderate 4%. ‏(Arik Mirovsky‏)