The workers committees at five Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) plants today announced the establishment of a joint action team to fight the streamlining plan which they claim CEO Stefan Borgas has prepared. The employees claim that the plan includes workforce reductions, and even firings, at some of the company's facilities in the south. The employees also claim that management calls the plan "Ground Zero".
In a letter to Borgas, the workers committees state that the streamlining plan is fundamental breach of Israel Chemicals' labor contracts. They are demanding that Borgas instruct his aides to hold immediate negotiations with the unions, about the consequences of the plan. "As responsible committees, we always know how to pull together in hard times and do our bit for the company. Regrettably, management's policy has changed and common effort has been replaced with fait accomplis, grossly ignoring labor contracts and not involving the workers' representatives in plans. The plan's name, "Ground Zero" is already nauseating and raises unpleasant connotations in the US where the disaster turned the Twin Towers into a zone of desolation."
The workers committee of Israel Chemicals' sixth unit, Dead Sea Works, refused to join in the letter to Borgas. The five workers committees said today that unless management held talks with them, they would ask to declare a labor dispute.
Israel Chemicals said in response, "In view of the challenging situation in Israel Chemicals' markets, the company is thoroughly examining ways to improve its competitiveness. This is being carried out with full transparency with the knowledge and cooperation of the workers committees, and no decisions have been made yet."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 5, 2013
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