ICL says strikes cost $423 million in sales

The nearly four-month strike at the company's Dead Sea works and Bromine Compounds plant arose over a restructuring plan that included layoffs.

money (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The strike at two Israel Chemicals plants earlier this year led to a $423 million drop in sales in the first half of the year, according to the company’s second-quarter earnings report released Wednesday.
Israel Chemicals second quarter sales fell 22 percent to $1.2 billion from the same quarter last year, a drop it attributed to the Histadrut labor federation-led strikes in two of its plants. Of the $339m. decline in sales in that quarter, the company estimated that the strike was responsible for $253m. of the loss.
The nearly four-month strike at the company’s Dead Sea Works and Bromine Compounds plant arose over a restructuring plan that included layoffs.
After ongoing standoffs that spread to major cities in the South and nearly erupted in a general strike in the South just before March’s general election, the sides reached an agreement in May that included a hefty compensation or retirement package for the roughly 250 laid off workers.
ICL’s president and CEO Stefan Borgas called the agreement, which paved the way for the company’s efficiency plan to move forward, an important milestone.
“While ICL’s second-quarter sales were sharply lower as a result of the strike, we are very pleased that it has concluded with important achievements for the company and with less financial impact than initially anticipated,” Borgas said.
The agreement, he added, would allow management to retake control of plants and allow the company to implement a Shared Services Center in Israel.
Potash production has already reached its pre-strike levels, and the bromide compounds plant is expected to return to its pre-strike production capability at the end of the third quarter.