"Teva's behavior concerning the plant in Ashdod reeks of falsehood, deceit, and bad faith," the Histadrut is claiming in its petition to the Beersheva District Labor Court to order Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) to cancel the layoffs of dozens of workers at the plant and prevent its closure.
Teva previously announced its intention of closing the Ashdod plant, and following the Passover holiday, notified the employees that the plant would be closed by 2019. Half of the employees will be laid off very soon, and the other half when the plant closes down.
"A few days before Israel's 70th Independence Day, while the entire country was celebrating, Teva's management took this shameful step," states the Histadrut's petition, presented through Advocates Elad Morag and Gali Steinberg of the Histadrut professional division.
The Histadrut is asserting that the announcement came as a complete surprise. It is accusing Teva of bad faith in its negotiations with the Histadrut over the plant in Ashdod: soothing the workers' representatives while at the same time taking measures to close its plants in Israel using salami tactics.
"There are potential buyers interested in acquiring the plant," the Histadrut states in its petition, "but Teva, with the clear aim of destroying the industrial enterprise built by its founder, Eli Hurvitz… conducted no sale negotiations with them before announcing the plant's closure."
Teva is planning to shut down its plant in Ashdod as part of the massive streamlining measures instituted by its management in view of the company's gloomy financial plight and huge debt, which amounted to $32.5 billion at the end of 2017. Teva's plan includes 14,000 layoffs, including 1,700 in Israel.
In addition to Teva, the Histadrut is also suing the Ministry of Health for what the Histadrut calls its apathy towards the plant's closure. The Histadrut mentioned in this context that the Ashdod plant is the sole supplier of IVs and antiseptic and other products to the Israeli health system, which it alleges Teva is probably now planning to import, instead of producing them in Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 24, 2018
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