Israeli Contract Workers Hit as Chemicals Job Action Grows

Published By : 24 Feb 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Hundreds of workers in south Israel have been idled in the past three weeks. This happened due to the job action by factory workers after their layoffs by Israel Chemicals. The list of workers that are suffering due to the job action includes maintenance staff, security guards, cleaners, and food-services staff members that have all been employed by contractors on the outside. The contractors themselves are running losses due to the action that is currently on the rise.

Workers have already held protests in Arad and Dimona on Monday, after which another larger demonstration was planned for Tuesday morning at the Be’er Sheva Center for Performing Arts. The location is opposite the City Hall.

Rager Boulevard is expected to be blocked by thousands of ICL workers, which is one of the major thoroughfares of the city. There will be solidarity among the municipal workers that will be joining the demonstration. The protest will essentially shut down all city services till noon except for schools.

The layoffs have particularly affected the workers who offer services to ICL’s bromine-compounds plant at Neot Hovav.

Itzik Aboyan, a senior consultant at Nitzanim, said that there is no doubt that the strike will affect everyone including themselves; there will be no revenue and only expenses. Nitzanim is a firm that hires factory cleaners.

He said that Nitzanim has nearly 55 workers that are currently sitting at home with no work for the past three weeks. These are not middle-class employees that can manage on savings during strikes. They are cleaning workers as old as 40 and have to make do with minimum wage.

The ICL blames an aggressive workers’ committee that will not allow a plant that is losing money to adapt to changing systems by resorting to layoffs.
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