Israel invites international bids for new private ports to bust unions, reduce cost of imports

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Israel says it will soon accept international bids to build two new private ports, a plan aimed at reducing prices and cutting into the power of labor unions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday the new ports will increase competition and lower costs for "almost all products."

The ports are part of an Israeli plan to cut the government's role in the economy, give more influence to the private sector and bring down labor costs by confronting unions. The government has been seeking to bring down the cost of living since large-scale protests in 2011.

Israel's main labor union objects to the new ports because the private companies would have no union obligations.

Local media reported first new port could be completed in 2018.