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Israeli Poultry Firm Faces Possible Closure

by 5m Editor
4 March 2009, at 7:28am

ISRAEL - The Off Haemek poultry processing company may close on 5 March although a final court decision is still pending.

Haaretz reports that there is bad news for employees at the Off Haemek poultry processing company, where management said yesterday the factory would close on 5 March, and 200 workers would be laid off. However, the move was postponed after Histadrut labour federation chief, Ofer Eini, intervened.

Some of the employees have worked for the company for 30 to 40 years and have families with as many as eight children. "The economic crisis is deepening and people are saving even on basic supplies like poultry," one worker said.

Off Haemek is a cooperative owned by kibbutzim in the Jezreel Valley and has worked with the Tnuva fresh-foods cooperative and the Tiv Ta'am supermarket chain.

"There is no other factory in the area that can provide manual labour to so many people. For us there is no other solution if the workers are thrown out," said Motti Sa'ar, head of the union at the factory.

Mr Eini will meet with union representatives and officials from Bank Leumi today to try to reach understandings before the matter goes to court for a decision.