The workers committees at Oil Refineries Ltd. (TASE:ORL) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) are planning to fight managements' decisions to fire 240 employees at Oil Refineries and 700-1,000 employees at Teva. On Sunday, "Globes" reported that Teva's employees are preparing for a possible strike, and today, Teva-Tech workers' committee chairman Avraham Zohar threatened "to break the company."
"In Petah Tikva, there are employees with salaries from NIS 10,000 a month, and our CEO earns NIS 1.5 million a month; what is this? Everything is hallucinatory here," Zohar told “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal). "Guys, wake up. They want to destroy the workers committee and turn us into slaves. We won't let this happen. We'll go all the way. We'll break the company once and for all. We're not slaves."
Zohar said, "At the last Rosh Hashana (New Year), our vice president came up on stage and said that the company was going to grow. I said at the time that the starvation wages at Teva-Tech could not continue. I declared a labor dispute, and to tell the truth, we can go on strike and shut the plant now. I waited for Ofer Eini."
Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini will today convene a special meeting over the layoffs at Oil Refineries and Teva. He will also meet Teva CEO Jeremy Levin.
Oil Refineries workers committee chairman Reuven Schwartzberg told "IDF Radio" that the banks were causing trouble for the company and were not giving it breathing room. "There are negotiations between management and banks on a debt settlement. We've invested here more than $500 million in expanding our output, and now that everything is ready, refining margins have narrowed across the energy market, in Israel and globally. We'd expect the banks to support the company at this time. After all, the margins will ultimately widen. I understand from the company that the negotiations with the banks are going nowhere. The workers have already down our bit to streamline, whether through vacation days and sick days, and waiving pay. Even if all the workers are fired, and do not reach a settlement with the banks it won't help anything."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 15, 2013
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