Mr. Uriel Lynn president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce ( FICC ) said in a press release that the planned ports strike, pushed by the trade unions, will be too costly to the economy which is still licking the wounds of the 2003 ports strike.
Mr. Lynn insisted that the economy is unable to stand another strike which could cost some NIS1 billion per week in lost revenue to the commercial sector.
Calculations made by economists at the FICC show that at the end of the fifth stoppage day at the ports, the estimated revenue loss of the commercial sector will be around NIS 1 billion, equal to 0.1% of the GNP. ( based on the data provided by the central statistics commission the daily revenue of the commercial sectors that are most affected by the strike is NIS 2.5 billion. The assumption made by FICC is that the loss in revenue will be 5% in the first day of the strike and will reach the level of 25%, of the daily revenue, in the 10th day.)
Mr. Lynn emphasized that the accumulated damage to the economy in general and to Israel’s foreign trade in particular, as a result of previous port workers striks has been devastating. Government, said Lynn must take the initiative to prevent the trade unions from stopping essential services.
According to Mr. Lynn Israel’s foreign trade – imports and exports – accounts for almost 61% of the total economic activities. Most of the exports and imports are routed via maritime gateways which handles some 120,000 metric tons daily.