Histadrut tries to block mass firings at Hadera Paper

Haifa Labor Court hearing on planned firing of 250 employees delayed to allow further talks between company's CEO and Histadrut leadership.

Workers protest at Hadera Paper  370 (photo credit: Shlomi Gabai/Hadera News)
Workers protest at Hadera Paper 370
(photo credit: Shlomi Gabai/Hadera News)
The Histadrut labor federation filed a court motion on Monday to prevent Hadera Paper from laying off 250 employees, and filed an injunction to prevent the closure of one of its factories.
Hadera Paper CEO Ofer Bloch met with the Histadrut leadership later in the day to try to work out a deal, after prior negotiations over the fate of the workers fell through. The meeting led both sides to request a one-day postponement to a planned Haifa Labor Court hearing on the matter to allow for further talks.
The company management halted operations at the plant last Friday following a Histadrut-led labor strike, in which workers demanded to keep their 4.5% automatic pay hikes and bonuses.
Bloch claimed a drop in demand for paper has hurt the company’s revenues, forcing it to make cuts, though he said his preferred course of action is to cut salaries and eliminate the automatic pay raises instead of firing workers.
The publicly traded firm, which is owned by Clal Industries, reported a third-quarter loss of NIS 61.2 million after significant losses in the first and second quarters of the year. Management sources said the average salary of the striking employees was NIS 25,000 per month, and the situation was intolerable.
The workers are demanding Bloch end the shutdown and restore their bonuses.
Adi Hananov, chairman of the Hadera Paper workers committee, urged the CEO to reconsider the dismissal of workers.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.