The future of the Phoenicia Glass Works bottle factory in the Negev town of Yeruham is in jeopardy following a boycott from the haredi (ultra-orthodox) community because the plant operates on Saturdays.
The dispute between Phoenicia and the haredi community has been simmering for years because the high-temperature ovens, which bake the glass, operate seven days a week. While the Gur haredi community insists that this is desecration of the Sabbath, Phoenicia says that the complicated glass manufacturing process is only viable if the ovens operate throughout the week.
Phoenicia's management said, "Sources in the Gur ultra-orthodox community are putting the factory's customers under heavy pressure and threatening the continued existence of a place which has 240 employees. Following these pressures the purchase of the factory's products has been significantly reduced by some of its customers, and this has caused substantial losses."
MK Mickey Levy (Blue & White) has this morning contacted Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) asking him to convene an urgent debate on the crisis. He said, "Industry in the south is in crisis and it is up to us to work to prevent the layoff of employees and the collapse of factories."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 30, 2019
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