The Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) workers committees today called a warning strike, and are not allowing 3,000 contract workers to enter Dead Sea Works premises. The move comes after Israel Chemicals' workers committees joined forces and set up a united committee to manage negotiations with management.
In a notice to employees, the heads of the workers committees said, "We have approached CEO Stefan Borgas several times, but he has decided on a strategy of shrugging us off with laconic and arrogant answers that contradict the conciliatory statements he makes in presentations and to the media.
"We have tried peaceful means and asked for a meeting with the united committee that was established to discuss the details of the malicious plan known as ICL 1. But after several attempts, we decided that it is all over, and that we have no choice but to take industrial action that will force Israel Chemicals management to sit with the united committee to discuss the plan's details."
The united workers committee continued, "As far as the workers committees are concerned, layoffs at a profitable company like Israel Chemicals is dirty word and a red line that we will not allow to be crossed. It is unacceptable that a profitable company like Israel Chemicals, which draws most of its profits from the country's natural resources, will send work abroad. It is unacceptable that it employs cheap foreign labor while firing Israelis. It is unacceptable that while Idan Ofer and Nir Gilad get more money into their private accounts, the Negev pays the price of thousands of layoffs."
The united workers committee called on Borgas "to regain his composure, stop the unilateral measures, and to sit down for serious negotiations about the entire plan."
The united workers committee emphasized, "Any attempt to divide Israel Chemicals' workers from the united committee by intimidation at any subsidiary or other act by management would be met with countermeasures by all the workers committees. If our demands are not met, and Israel Chemicals management continues its malicious layoffs plan, we will intensify the industrial action each day to the point of a general strike.
"The management and owners of Israel Chemicals, who have withdrawn the fantastical sum of $500 million in dividends in the past year, intend to fire 1,000 employees in the Negev. The company's management and owners were insulted by the attitude of the government, which seeks to increase royalties, and decided to take revenge through layoffs and destruction of thousands of families in the Negev."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 9, 2014
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