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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘IEC’

Electric Workers’ ‘Italian Strike’ Keeps 200,000 Israeli Homes Dark after Storm

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) An Italian strike, also known among Leninist scholars as Work-to-rule, is an industrial action in which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract, and precisely follow safety or other regulations in order to cause a slowdown, rather than to serve their purposes. In Italy, this action is known as “sciopero bianco,” or white strike. In Israel, one such strike this week has caused a wave of irritation and rage, whose outcome is not yet clear, in an estimated 200,000 households.

IEC CEO Ofer Bloch apologized on Tuesday morning in a special session of the Knesset State Control Committee, to hundreds of thousands of Electric Company customers who lost their service during a storm Sunday, and were left in the dark for between one and two days. As of Tuesday morning in Israel, there are still at least 8,000 households without service.

“As a service provider of an essential service, we apologize are making every effort to restore power as quickly as possible,” Bloch told the committee, explaining that with the onset of the storm some 200,000 customers had been cut off. “This is an unprecedented event in the history of the country,” he argued. “In the last 48 hours, I’ve been going around and meeting with workers and hearing from them that none of them remember a situation like this where huge trees fell and lay on power lines and electricity was cut off to entire communities. 340 power lines collapsing, it is a fantastic figure.”

Be that as it may, and IEC employee memory notwithstanding, at 7 PM Monday, many hours after those 200,000 households had lost power in historic proportions, the IEC management appealed to the Haifa District Labor Court with a complaint that their workers’ committee was sabotaging the functioning of the company in a time of crisis, and asked the President of the Tribunal, Judge Alex Kogan, to order heads of the committee to stop doing that, according to Ha’aretz.

The descriptions management offered to the labor court reflected a level of disruption that caused management’s complete loss of control over the situation, even after it declared a state of emergency.

From the same IEC complaint it turns out that the workers’ committee ordered employees—in the emergency headquarters management had set up—to end their shift promptly at 5 PM Sunday and leave the area. In fact, the same report alleged that the emergency headquarters were abandoned as early as 3 PM Sunday, despite the fact that between 150 and 200 thousand households were still cut off and were calling for help.

In addition, the workers’ committee banned moving maintenance staff between trouble spots. Workers in Ashdod, for example, were not allowed to go to Ra’anana to help their colleagues, who were collapsing under the weight of system failures in the Sharon valley—Israel’s multi-million resident bedroom community north of Tel Aviv). In addition, the committee prevented maintenance workers from helping to connect electricity to homes, because this task is outisde their job description.

According to company executives, the committee eliminated the reinforcement of network supervisors, who are required to monitor power lines quickly and effect damage control. And so, with 300 power lines down, only a single supervisor was on duty — working from home, Homer Simpson style.

In addition, the committee instructed employees not to comply with management’s orders regarding a change in shift hours, but to come to work in the morning as usual and finish in the afternoon, like any day — depriving Management of the ability to extend its response and effect repairs through the night.

JNi.Media

Wind Power Blocked

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

If you thought mining for shale faced difficulties in Israel, you’ve never tried to harvest good, clean, renewable wind power.

A number of companies are petitioning Israel’s High Court after the Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) apparently changed the rates they would be paid for their electricty, according to a Globes report. The difference is significant enough to not make the renewable energy ventures profitable.

These wind ventures, that began 10 years ago, kept hitting road blocks along the way.

One recent roadblock was a Haifa District Court decision 2 months ago that froze the electricity market to prevent a weakening of the Israel Electric Company worker’s bargaining power.

As a result of that decision, not just wind, but also solar fields can’t be connected to the country’s electric grid until further notice.

The current wind turbine battle over electric rates is a complicated one and the legal battles around it may just kill this fledgling industry before it even takes off.

Who needs environmentalists to cause trouble, when you have regulators.

Jewish Press News Briefs

IEC Transfered Generators to Gaza Hospitals

Friday, August 8th, 2014

11:12am Internal IEC (Israel electric company) Memo leaked to the Muqata. Jameel’s translation.

In a Unique Operation, IEC transfers 10 generators to hospitals in Gaza.

Two days ago, in a unique deployment operation, the electric company transferred 10 generators with a total capacity of 4.3 megawatts via the cargo terminal at Kerem Shalom for the benefit of hospitals in Gaza.

At the Kerem Shalom crossing point, the generators were provided by the IDF representative bodies and were transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Diesel generators were provided with operating and safety instructions translated into Arabic.

Thw project was carried out under the direction of Doobey Cohen, Director of Logistics and the project manager was Moti Zamir, director of Southern Region Transport. Staff and the Defense Unit [of the IEC] worked around the clock, 24 hours a day, to meet the target and to deliver the diesel generators on time.

The request for the delivery of this project came at the behest and the direction of the State.

Jameel@Muqata

Israel Repairs Gaza Damage While Talks Continue

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

While representatives of various Palestinian Arab factions “talk” with Israeli negotiators — albeit indirectly — about how to extend a 72-hour cease fire into something more permanent, Israel is already starting to rehabilitate Gaza.

Employees of the Israel Electric Company began repairing the power grid for Gaza residents on Tuesday night.

Workers from the Be’er Sheva district – the same people repeatedly forced to race for shelter from rocket fire launched from Gaza – were ordered to repair the grids damaged by those same rockets fired by Hamas terrorists in the first place.

IDF soldiers have been assigned to guard the IEC technicians working on the lines. IEC provides 120 megwatts of electricity to Gaza on 10 high voltage lines, nine of which were damaged by the rocket fire.

The IEC employees are working on the lines from the Israeli side only, although a number of damaged lines are also located within Gaza.

“All of the IEC work is being carried out in coordination with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT),” according to IEC deputy spokesperson Iris Ben-Shahal.

Rachel Levy

Israel Electric Corp. Threatens to Cut the Lights to PA

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Israel is threatening to turn off the lights to the Palestinian Authority – at least temporarily – because the entity owes more than a billion shekels to the Israel Electric Corporation.

The question is whether the PA even intends to pay up, given its new deal to form a unity government with a terrorist organization dedicated to the total destruction of Israel.

The debt has reached 1.5 billion, to be exact. It grows by another NIS 80 million a month. Of that, NIS 566 million is a direct debt of the Palestinian Authority. NIS 966 is owed by the Jerusalem District Electricity Company, which serves eastern Jerusalem.

It’s not clear whether the PA pays anything at all to reduce the debt although IEC auditor Brightman Almagor told the Globes business news service there does not appear to be any risk the debt will not be paid. However, IEC also readily admits there is no real way to force the PA to pay its bill.

Recently Israel has begun to take action on its own in the form of sanctions. The state now funnels some payments to the IEC from tax monies collected on behalf of the PA that normally would have been transferred to the entity instead.

According to Globes, IEC chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal wrote last week to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, informing him, “We have no choice but to take legal action against the state, against the Palestinian Authority, and Jerusalem District Electricity Company Ltd. At the same time, we intend to restrict the supply of electricity.”

The problem is, legal experts have told the Knesset that cutting electricity to the PA could be considered a “war crime” in the international arena — complicating things even more.

Hana Levi Julian

G8 Issue Message of Hope to Palestinian Deadbeats and Firebombers

Friday, April 12th, 2013

We just received the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Statement, and here’s what they have to say about the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP).

Well, first of all, I love the name: MEPP. Sounds like the way Israelis pronounce “Map.” Is it a hint?

So, here’s the press release, by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia:

G8 Foreign Ministers confirmed their commitment to a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East… The Ministers welcomed President Obama’s visit to the region and his statement that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is necessary, just and possible.. The Ministers stressed that a long term solution to this conflict can be achieved only through direct negotiations, taking note of the 23 September 2011 statement of the Middle East Quartet. Ministers called on parties to refrain from unilateral actions and to create an atmosphere conducive to peace. They strongly reaffirmed that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, we interrupt this press release to examine the information therein: they “called on parties to refrain from unilateral actions”? But one of the sides, the PLO, in a stunning unilateral act, breaking the very foundation of the Oslo Accords, applied to the UN general assembly last year, to receive an “upgrade” to statehood – and guess who supported the move? France, Italy, Japan and Russia. And two other G8 states, Britain and Germany, abstained. Only the U.S. and Canada out of this bunch voted against.

Do they really think our memories are that short? Is this a planet populated largely by goldfish?

OK, go ahead with the press release, but I must register my profound dumbfoundedness.

Ministers expressed grave concerns about the poor state of the Palestinian economy, and the impact this has on Palestinian state-building efforts. Ministers affirmed their support for the Palestinian Authority and encouraged Arab countries, as well as emerging economies, to extend the fullest assistance possible to revitalizing the Palestinian economy.

Do you know who revitalizes the Palestinian economy? I’ll tell you a story:

In late 2012, former Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz halted the transfer of tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, to pay the Palestinians’ debt to the Israel Electric Company. But following US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel last month, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to release the withheld funds as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority.

The debt is estimated at $125 million.

As my friend Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu reported in this space in late March, the IEC spokesperson stated that “if there is no alternative, the utility will have to record the debt in its books as lost debt and ask the Public Utilities Authority to recognize it as an expense to be covered by electricity tariffs.”

Rates will have to be increased approximately 3 percent for one year to cover the debt, but that is only for electricity and does not cover other PA debts.

Tzvi commented: “Three percent would not be so bad by itself, but it would come on top of a 6.5 percent hike that was approved” earlier.

So now you understand who is revitalizing the Palestinian economy? The very people whose children they firebomb and stone on the highways.

Back to the G8 press release (in case you haven’t lost your breakfast yet):

The Ministers welcomed the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire of 21 November 2012 which ended hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel, condemned rocket attacks in contravention of this and urged all sides to uphold their commitments.

What commitments? The Hamas has no commitments, other than the vow to destroy Israel. I’m starting to suspect that this is what the G8 is expecting them to uphold.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/g8-issue-message-of-hope-to-palestinian-deadbeats-and-firebombers/2013/04/12/

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