Fears of Israeli job cuts at Teva sparks call for general strike

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's biggest generic drugmaker and Israel's largest company, is seen in Jerusalem  

(This version of the story was refiled to modify the headline)

By Tova Cohen

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Reports that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is planning a restructuring involving mass layoffs in Israel sparked calls on Wednesday for a half-day general strike to be held in protest.

The plan includes closing Teva's research and development center in the coastal city of Netanya, selling its logistics center in Shoham and cutting 3,300 jobs out of 6,430 nation-wide, the Israeli financial news website Calcalist reported.

Teva , the world's largest generic drug maker which employs more than 56,000 people, did not comment on the details of the report. But it confirmed there was a restructuring plan that it would discuss in a 1300 GMT conference call on Thursday.

Saddled with nearly $35 billion in debt since acquiring Allergan's Actavis generic drug business for $40.5 billion, Teva made a series of changes after Kare Schultz joined as its new chief executive on Nov. 1.

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said only that he was following the situation closely. Avi Nissenkorn, chief of the Histadrut labor federation, declared a half-day general strike for Sunday, the beginning of the Israeli work week.

"The entire economy - from the (Ben Gurion) airport to the banks to the seaports to the municipalities to the government service to the health clinics - will stand until noon on Sunday in solidarity with Teva's employees," Nissenkorn told reporters.

He predicted mass layoffs under the Teva restructuring plan, which he described as "ruinous" for a company that was long a symbol of Israeli enterprise.

One of the plants earmarked for sale, Calcalist said, is the Teva Tech factory in Israel's southern Negev desert. It produces raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry and employs 870 workers, according to Teva's website.

"This is a young plant ... and hundreds of millions of shekels of Israeli government money were invested here," Meir Babayoff, chairman of the Negev region in the Histadrut, told Israel Radio.

He vowed to stop any layoffs and called on Israel's government "to wake up".

Last week Bloomberg reported that the firm was considering cutting up to 10,000 jobs to reduce costs by $1.5 billion to $2 billion in the next two years.

Teva said on Tuesday that Yitzhak Peterburg, who previously served as its chairman and interim CEO, had resigned from its board with immediate effect.

Schultz ousted top division heads last month and said he would combine the firm's generic and specialty drug businesses. He had also said Teva was working on a detailed restructuring plan to be unveiled in mid-December.

(Additional reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Alexander Smith, Greg Mahlich)


More Related News

Iran, Israel play down prospects they
Iran, Israel play down prospects they'll go to war over Syria
  • World
  • 2018-04-22 17:26:29Z

By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Iran and Israel traded blame on Sunday for an unprecedented, weeks-long surge in hostilities between their forces over Syria but played down prospects of a spillover into war. A showdown between the arch-foes has loomed since Feb. 10, when Israel said an armed

Israel hints it could hit Iran
Israel hints it could hit Iran's 'air force' in Syria

(This April 17 story corrects to change the media source in paragraph 8 to The Israeli News Company.) By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel released details on Tuesday about what it described as an Iranian "air force" deployed in neighboring Syria, including civilian planes suspected of transferring arms, a signal that these could be attacked should tensions with Tehran escalate. Iran, along with Damascus and its big-power backer Russia, blamed Israel for an April 9 air strike on a Syrian air base, T-4, that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) members. Israeli media ran satellite images and a map of five Syrian air bases allegedly used to field Iranian...

Death of Gaza teenager at border protest sparks condemnation
Death of Gaza teenager at border protest sparks condemnation

The death of a Palestinian teenager during protests along Gaza's border with Israel sparked condemnation and international calls for restraint on Saturday. Rescue services and relatives said Mohammed Ayoub, aged 15, was killed by Israeli gunfire on Friday. The Israeli army said Saturday it was opening an investigation into the death of the young Palestinian, who was killed during demonstrations that have brought thousands of Palestinians to the border for four consecutive Fridays.

Hamas vows revenge for key member killed in Malaysia
Hamas vows revenge for key member killed in Malaysia

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group said Saturday that a man who was gunned down in Malaysia was an important member of the organization, accusing Israel of being behind the brazen killing.

Israeli troops kill four more Palestinians in border protest
Israeli troops kill four more Palestinians in border protest
  • World
  • 2018-04-21 02:09:03Z

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, bringing to 35 the death toll in recent weeks among Palestinian protesters demanding the right to return to their former homeland. Gazans used catapults and sling-shots to launch stones

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.