Cranes at Ashdod Port.
Cranes at Ashdod Port. Photo by Iliya Melnikov
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Ashdod Port employs two crane operators per eight-hour shift, but in practice each works just four hours and gets paid for all eight, the port's management says.

Management says that both operators remain at work, so they receive full pay packages even though in practice each works only half a shift. That's the practice at other ports around the world, the port says.

Sources at Haifa Port confirm that because of safety requirements and the physical effort required to operate the giant cranes, the practice is staggered work. Therefore, two crane operators share each shift and get paid for full shifts.

But during an arbitration proceeding between Ashdod Port and routers, different facts emerged: Only a single crane operator stays on shift and the other goes home.

The crane operators average NIS 35,000 to NIS 45,000 a month gross, though possibly some may have spent half their shifts at home.

Routers average NIS 60,000 and are also often absent from the port during shifts.