Israel’s oldest company is moving to Turkey

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - KERIM ULKER

Turkey is one of the most popular issues lately in Israeli business circles. As the reactions of the protests of the workers of Israel’s most important cement manufactur­er in Turkey last year continues, now the oldest industrial company has decided to close the plant in the country.

Establishe­d in 1948, Israel’s 70 year-old manufactur­er of bathroom fixtures and equipment, Harsa, has decided to move it factory to Turkey. Harsa, in Beer

Sheva, , decided to dismiss 115 workers. The dismissals, made on May 1 Labor Day, caused reactions in Israel.

Israel’s General Business Federation (Histadrut) announced that the decision to move the factory will be a blow in the country’s increasing unemployme­nt problem. Histadrut representa­tives met with the managers of the company and to find a way to prevent the closure of the facility. Explaining that the factory had been closed for the last 2 weeks due to the Passover in Israel, on April 15 Histadrut Negev Regional President Meir Babiof said the dismissal notices were sent from the company to workers and the employees should not accept these notificati­ons. Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David said the company has establishe­d the company’s plant in Turkey, but said they have not made a statement so far.

As you may recall, an important protest against Turkey took place in Israel in November last year. Cement workers, who participat­ed in demonstrat­ions for two days, closed the highway between the capital Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Representi­ng 60 percent of the cement market in the country, Nesher workers were accompanie­d by Har-Tuv workers in the protests. Nesher is considerin­g closing down its Haifa plant and like the Harsa bathroom fixtures factory, taking advantage of lower production costs in Turkey, according Globes of Israel.

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