Histadrut Leumit to BC Partners: Bring Keter's production back to Israel

After sending a letter to BC Partners, who own Keter Home and Garden, the federation of workers in Israel had to seek new methods to get their parent company's attention.

 Keter's factory in Israel. (photo credit: HISTADRUT/YEHUDAH SEGEV)
Keter's factory in Israel.
(photo credit: HISTADRUT/YEHUDAH SEGEV)

On Wednesday, the "Histadrut Leumit," the general federation of workers in Israel, in conjunction with the workers of Keter Home and Garden Product LTD, formally requested that Keter production would be brought back to Israel. 

In a letter with the headline "Notice Before Legal Action is Taken," sent to BC Partners Investment Fund, Keter's owner, Histadrut Leumit and the Worker's Representative Body demanded an "urgent intervention to stop the unilateral damage being caused by the activity of Keter Israel and the injury hundreds of its employees"  

Following multiple years of "changes dictated by global Keter’s management to the employees’ work conditions, making changes to the organizational structure, opening factories abroad and undertaking many other diverse processes," demands have peaked leading to what could end up as a worker's dispute.

We are convinced that the company’s full production capacity should remain within Israel’s borders, where the best and most effective knowledge, skill and abilities are found, which all benefit the company and its needs on the global level

Histadrut Leumit

Struggles between company and employees

Throughout the years, the company and the Workers' Representative Body have come to agreements that combined meeting company needs and protecting employee rights. However, the Covid19 pandemic brought a new wave of ignoring employee needs due to shifts in management. The letter went into detail about worker needs that were ignored amongst other issues.

"Ongoing intolerable state of affairs in which the company frequently issued new decrees curtailing the employees’ rights, including reducing their wages, cutting down on weekend shifts, closing down factories and instituting organizational changes and unilateral streamlining," the letter read.

Histadrut Leumit demanded not only that production within Israel is increased, but that it would be primarily based in Israel, rather than manufacturing across the United States and Europe.

"The scope of the company’s production in Israel [should] be increased immediately. We are convinced that the company’s full production capacity should remain within Israel’s borders, where the best and most effective knowledge, skill and abilities are found, which all benefit the company and its needs on the global level," they stated.

After failing to receive any response by the parent company, Histradut wrote that they would be forced to "pursue every possible course of action to exhaust the rights of the workers".