National Labor Federation saves jobs of 250 workers at Hadera paper

The company and workers agreed to cut wages; 28 voluntary retirements will help narrow the ranks.

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 on Thursday secured an agreement with Hadera Paper Ltd. to secure the jobs of 250 employees, who had been slated for firing.
In the agreement signed after two weeks of intense negotiations peppered with strikes, the company and workers agreed instead to cut wages.
In addition, 28 voluntary retirements look to help narrow the ranks somewhat, but the firm promised to avoid layoffs for three years.
“I praise the worker’s union and management for their responsibility and am glad that hundreds of families will not enter the cycle of unemployment, and [that] their income has been rescued,” said Histadrut Trade Union Division chairman Avi Nissenkoren, who is expected to become the union’s next chairman.
Workers who earn below NIS 10,000 are to have no salary change. Those who earn between NIS 10,000-15,000 are to see a 2.5 percent drop in their salary, between NIS 15,000-25,000 a 5% cut and for those over NIS 25,000 an 8% reduction. Employees had originally demanded to keep their 4.5% automatic pay increases plus bonuses, a position to which the management had responded with threats of layoffs.
Salary increases would be postponed until 2016.
“I hope the concessions made by all the workers at the Hadera site will help the company face the competitive paper market in an optimal way,” said Hadera Paper CEO Ofer Bloch.
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.