THE DEAD SEA WORKS in Sdom, the world’s fourth largest producer and supplier of potash products, is owned by Israel Chemicals Ltd.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel Chemicals will add nine employees to the list of layoffs as a months-long strike continues, it said Sunday.
The company had warned that ongoing strikes could reduce its ability to compete in certain product lines and lead to further layoffs, beyond the roughly 160 planned for employees at the Dead Sea Works and Bromine Compounds.
On Sunday, it announced it is discontinuing production of FR-1210 DECA, a flame retardant, and fired nine of the 12 employees who worked on it. The remaining employees are being moved to other positions, it said.
“Due to the strike at the Bromine Compounds plant in Neot Hovav, which has been continuing for more than three months, and because the company has told its customers that it cannot meet its obligations to provide products due to ‘force majeure,’ ICL has been forced to close its production line,” Israel Chemicals said.
As the strike continued, customers moved to suppliers in other places, including China, it said.
“The move to more sustainable products and the high cost of resuming production following a long strike makes [restarting the product line] uneconomical,” Israel Chemicals said.
As part of its streamlining plan, which caused the start of the strike in February, the company said it is offering voluntary early retirement to the employees it is letting go. The Histadrut has said a company earning billions of shekels has no need to fire workers.