Israel labor union strike over job layoffs planned by Teva Pharm

Worker of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries block a road during a demonstration near the facility in Neot Hovav, southern Israel December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Vastavam web: Israel’s main public-sector labor union staged a half-day strike on Sunday, closing the airport, stock exchange, banks and all government ministries to protest at mass layoffs planned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.Debt-ridden Teva, one of Israel’s largest companies and the world’s largest generics drugmaker, said last week it would cut its global workforce by more than a quarter, or 14,000 jobs.

Sunday is the beginning of the Israeli work week. Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike until 12 noon (1000 GMT) and many held solidarity rallies outside Teva facilities.Protesters also blocked major roads across the country, including the entrance of Jerusalem, and burned tires outside many Teva offices. Demonstrators sat in the middle of streets and crosswalks, halting traffic in a number of cities.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange shortened its trading day, opening at 1 pm and closed as usual at about 4:30 pm. Teva’s shares fell 0.8 percent.Departing flights at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport between 8 a.m. and at least 12 p.m. were either canceled or delayed. Similarly, no flights were allowed to land until after 12 p.m.