People protest outside a Teva Pharmaceutical Industries facility in Jerusalem on December 14.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
Life after Teva
Former deputy mayor and current mayoral candidate Ofer Berkovitch has presented a request to Mayor Nir Barkat regarding the situation of the Teva employees who are facing massive dismissals. Berkovitch, head of Hitorerut (four seats on the council), requests that a joint committee be established immediately, consisting of the municipality, the Jerusalem Development Authority and representatives of the government. The committee’s task should be to find ways to prepare the 1,700 dismissed employees for alternative jobs, to offer them professional training appropriate for the employment options in the city (not many, one must admit), and to provide them with all the support and consulting they will require. In his proposal, Berkovitch states that this should be an initiative on the part of the mayor to lead such a step in order to find solutions, such as offering incentives to other firms in the city to absorb as many dismissed Teva employees as possible.Polls apart?
A recent survey within the non-haredi sector conducted by political pollster Mina Tzemah regarding the popularity of the mayoral candidates revealed that Ofer Berkovitch (Hitorerut) has a significant advantage. The survey found that council member and Deputy Mayor Moshe Lion is the most well-known among the community but is also the least popular, with 32% of the respondents saying that they do not like him, and 25% declaring that they are indifferent to him and his plans. Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman, still an unofficial candidate (but very active in promoting his candidacy), obtained 14% who do not like him and 18% who do appreciate him. As for Berkovitch, 22% of those surveyed declared that they would support him, while 5% said they would not.