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Management at Bnei-Brak based Elisra Electronic Systems recently decided to fire 80-100 employees, about 10% of their total workforce. Most of those to be let go are production workers, while a small amount are engineers.

Sources close to the workers claim that the actual number of workers to be let go will be more than 100.

Among the employees in line to be fired are supposedly two who are on the workers' committee, which would go against the existing agreement with the company.

An official at Elisra said yesterday "We need to balance our labor situation with the reality of the past two years, which saw a decrease in orders. Although the order backlog for 2006 points to an improvement, filling those orders takes time, so we need the layoffs now. We currently are overstaffed, and if we continue this way then this weight will sink the company."

The official claimed that the firm considered voluntary resignations, but held back out of a fear that higher-level professionals would take the opportunity to leave. According to the official, the layoffs will reduce Elisra?s wage expenses by $7.5 million annually.

While admitting that the workers' committees had expressed dissatisfaction with the decision, the official nonetheless claimed that the committees would cooperate in light of Elisra?s condition.

The official explained that expenses related to the layoffs would be charged to 2005. Elisra, which would have ended 2005 at around break-even, will instead end with a "small loss".

Elisra, a builder of military electronic systems, was sold by Koor Industries on November 30 to Elbit Systems (TASE: ESLT).