Thousands of Applicants flood Ashdod Port

Reports on the phantasmagorical working conditions for Ashdod Port workers are doing their bit to herd applicants towards the port.

By Avi Bar-Eli

The reports on the working conditions for Ashdod Port workers are doing their bit, it would seem: 3,000 candidates applied within a few days for the 45 new stevedore slots at the port.

Ashdod Port

Ashdod Port, apparently quite a wonderful place to work. – Photo: Ilya Melnikov

About half a year ago the Ashdod Port Company published a tender to hire stevedores, based on anticipation of employees retiring over the next few years and growing activity at the port.

The port wants to put together a list of 100 candidates to be trained as an operating reserve to be called in, if needed, during the course of the next three years.

TheMarker has learned that no fewer than 7,500 applications reached the port in the tender process. It bears noting that some candidates sent in multiple applications, one candidate sending in no less than seven identical applications via different channels.

The port begs to note that blitzing them with paperwork won’t actually improve a candidate’s chances of being hired.

But some sources at the port explain the candidates are worried their applications will be “disappeared” by union people or by others involved in the tenders, in order to advance their cronies. The rain of applications is therefore designed to foil such interference.

The salary conditions of a stevedore at the port are not necessarily attractive. A beginning stevedore usually earns the minimum wage. But with the addition of premiums and various benefits ensured to Ashdod Port Company employees, his gross monthly salary could amount to NIS 11,000.

Moreover, the gross average salary of Ashdod Port employees climbed between 2009 and 2011 by 17%, from NIS 22,500 monthly to NIS 26,400.


Are candidates paying bribes?

Meanwhile, rumors have been spreading in the port that “certain elements” at the port have demanded money from a number of applicants, in return for help with their hiring process.

Ilan Assayag

Containers and cars pile up as work at Ashdod Port crawls to a halt. – Photo: Ilan Assayag

The employee intake procedures at the port are carried out by 3-man committees, with one representative from management and two representatives of workers. The workers’ representatives have been known to give a score of 10 to their favorite candidate and 0 to his competitor, thereby skewing the sorting procedure.

Reportedly a complaint has been filed with the police about tampering with the process.

In past years the Ashdod Port starred in state comptroller reports dealing with nepotism at government corporations.

A 2007 report said that the Ashdod Port had the highest rate of family members among the employees of all the government corporations – 44% as compared to 25% at the Haifa Port and 15% at the Israel Postal Company.


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