Israel to see poultry shortage as veterinary inspectors call in sick in protest

The number of inspectors that reported any illnesses was nine times higher by Saturday evening than the average year.

Chicken (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Chicken
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

A shortage of poultry is expected on Monday after dozens of veterinary inspectors called in sick to protest their working conditions.

The number of inspectors that called in sick was nine times higher by Saturday evening than the average year.

"As the morbidity continues and increases, the corporation will consider its steps and examine the use of tools at its disposal - all this in order not to harm its vital activity in safeguarding public health," the Veterinary Inspection Corporation said to their employees.

"We call on everyone to come to their senses, to stop the cynical displays of force that cause unnecessary harm in the economy and in public and to return to constructive discourse with summarized signing, as soon as possible, a collective labor agreement."

Over 45 veterinary inspectors through the corporation have reported illnesses and won't be going to the meat factories on Sunday.

 Black Iron's wagyu beef (credit: ASSAF KERALA) Black Iron's wagyu beef (credit: ASSAF KERALA)

Due to the inspectors claimed ailments, meat factories across Israel will not be running and a shortage of chicken is to be expected.

What happened?

The Veterinary Inspection Corporation started in 2020 as a way of making sure that all animal products consumed in Israel are made correctly. Without supervision, meat factories are not allowed to operate.

In recent months, negotiations have been held between the management, the Finance Ministry, their representatives and the new General Workers' Union as a way to regulate the terms of employment for all veterinarians and inspectors employed with the corporation.

"Last week, we witnessed an unusual and unreasonable sickness rate, significantly higher than the average illness rate for this time of year," the corporation's management said. "We have invested a lot of inputs and resources into a collective agreement. We are on the eve of signing a collective agreement and the timing of the increase in sickness seems unreasonable, harms the corporation's activities and causes damages.

"It is the corporation's responsibility to arrange the terms of employment of all the veterinarians and inspectors employed within it, even though some of them are already subject to collective agreements with which they transferred to the corporation. To this end, the management and the representative organizations are working on reaching a collective agreement that will regulate the terms of employment for the benefit of the employees, the meat factories and the consumers."

"Unfortunately, just before the signing of the agreement and as a show of strength, the Histadrut and the committee decided to start a strike under the guise of 'workers disease,' in which dozens of workers announced that they would not come to work," they continued. "This will deliberately harm the public in Israel, the meat factories and the workers themselves. We call on everyone to come to their senses, stop the cynical displays of power that cause unnecessary damage to the economy and the public and return to constructive discourse with the aim of concluding and signing a collective labor agreement as soon as possible."