After announcing a price hike and coming under fire from the major retail chains, the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) and the public, consumer goods importer Diplomat Holdings (TASE: DIPL) says that it is freezing the move. The company has announced that it will not raise the prices of its brands until after the Jewish holiday season, which ends in late October. The announcement covers all the products that have made headlines in recent weeks because of their rising prices.
After negotiations with the retail chains, Diplomat decided to give a discount on products on its new price list until after the holidays, so that the price to the consumer should remain unchanged.
Diplomat said in a statement yesterday evening, "Within the past few days, Diplomat has proposed a plan to all its retailing customers containing continuing discounts, so that the consumer will be able to benefit from the previous prices until after the holidays. Customers that do not approve the proposal will not be supplied. It is important to point out that Diplomat encourages competition and does everything in its power to deal with it professionally and honestly. Diplomat is making great efforts to avoid raising prices, but because of inflation and global rises in input prices, it has only partially succeeded in doing so.
"We would stress that Diplomat is an Israeli company operating in five countries and employing 2,500 people, 750 of them in Israel, and it has to maintain a minimum of financial strength in order to care for the welfare of its employees and for its shareholders, who include the public."
For its part, the Histadrut does not intend to desist from its protest against rising prices. Diplomat’s announcement, which does not unambiguously declare a price freeze, does not signal the end of the campaign as far as it is concerned. "The campaign on which we embarked last week is a long one and it will continue, and despite Diplomat’s vague announcement which promises nothing for the general public, the campaign continues at full strength," the Histadrut stated.
Yesterday evening, representatives of the Histadrut, the Pensioners Association, social activists and members of the public protested against the rising cost of living outside the home of Ron Tomer, president of the Manufacturers' Association of Israel, in the Nevei Avivim neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Tomer went out to meet the demonstrators, and held a long talk with them.
"This morning we started a grass roots campaign that will help consumers to fight extortion in the cost of living, and this evening we are protesting outside the home of Ron Tomer. The campaign will continue and will grow in the coming days, until companies realize that the party is over and stop extorting consumers," said Histadrut chairperson Arnon Bar-David. "I again make clear to the government that unless active operational steps are introduced in this matter, at the beginning of September I will convene the Histadrut institutions to declare a labor dispute in the economy."
Eyal Ravid, CEO of supermarket chain Victory, said in response to Diplomat’s announcement, "As I have said in the past few days, this is the time of the consumer. The power to bring about change is in the consumers’ hands, and that’s a good thing. This win is a saving for all of us. There will be no price rises in the Victory chain, and goods will continue to be on the shelves to stand the test of the consumer’s choice."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 2, 2022.
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