Textile workers protest against making police uniforms in China

Dozens of textile workers gathered outside the Public Security Ministry in Jerusalem on Sunday to protest against the Israel Police's purchase of uniforms from China. The demonstrators accused the government of preferring cheap Chinese products at the expense of local production, and warned that the textile industry in Israel was in danger of collapse. "The uniform of an Israeli police officer was sewed in China. You should be ashamed!" read signs addressed to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. The protesters were accompanied by Zvi Lieberman, director of the Textile and Fashion Industries Association, which represents some 140 Israeli companies. "The purchase of textiles made by local industries for security forces would mean a doubling of the number of work places in the sector, and the hiring of around 800 to 1,000 workers," Lieberman said. "It would also result in an increase of exports by 10 percent." The Textile Association has been promoting legislation to increase local textile production through sales to security agencies, including the IDF and the police. It says similar arrangements in the US protect the American textile industry from cheap foreign competition. "Today, the Public Security Ministry purchases most of its textile gear abroad, thereby seriously harming local textile production," the association said in a statement. The proposed legislation would provide "a significant advantage that could save the textile industry from economic collapse and prevent the firing of hundreds of workers," the association said.