Histadrut Chairman visits BTL factories amid layoffs

Dec 08, 2022

Against the background of the management’s intention to fire hundreds of workers of the defense manufacturer, BTL, the Chairman of the Histadrut, Arnon Bar-David, visited this morning (Thursday) in the act of solidarity and support to meet with the employees of the company’s two factories in Nahariya and Tefen in northern Israel. Bar-David met with the employees and heard about the concerns and difficulties they’ve had to deal with from the day the company’s closure was announced. In addition, the Chairman of the Histadrut met with the company’s management and shared information about the ongoing negotiations with potential buyers.

BTL general manager Igor Krapovinsky informed workers on Sunday that parent company Pratt & Whitney has decided to shut down the production of compressor blades. According to the announcement, the production line will gradually be phased out starting in 2024 and shut down in 2025, according to the letter.

The move is expected to lead to broad layoffs of approximately 900 workers, most of the factory’s workers. The manufacturer of precision forged and machined blades and vanes for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries has two factories in Israel’s north, one in Nahariya and one in Tefen.

Chairman of the Histadrut Arnon Bar-David to the Factory Workers: “We came to see how a solution to the crisis can be found. The factory needs to be saved. I asked to come here also to see the area, listen and make decisions. We are at a stage where we will turn over every stone to keep the factory alive. We must understand that there is a State in the end, and the sovereign is the State – the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister have to lead this issue. There could be an embargo, and the State of Israel will need this technology. The State should consider this to create processes for all the parties. The workers and the Histadrut will strive to reach the right deal with you. You must walk with your head high and not delve into black bile. Today we just started the fight. We will contact everyone who needs to be contacted, including the Americans themselves.”

The Chairman of the Histadrut told the company’s management: “The only thing we have come to discuss is the continued operation of the factories and the employment of the workers. We are only concerned with how to save the factory. There is enough time, and we will push the right buttons. The closure has security and strategic implications and implications. It’s like closing Elbit or the Aerospace Industry, and you have to take that into account. There is an issue in peripheral Israel, and people have given their lives here. The aviation world is rising after COVID, and the factory is essential. The Americans’ decision is not irreversible. You will receive an intense fight from us to change the decision. There are people here with knowledge that should not be thrown away. Let the factory be sold, and someone will step into her shoes.

Bar-David concluded his words: “Let there be no doubt, the Histadrut will do everything to resolve the situation. However, if we do not receive satisfactory answers, we will intensify the struggle – and he will also succeed.”

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