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Management at Bnei Brak-based Elisra Electronic Systems recently decided to fire 80 to 100 employees, about 10 percent 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 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, which builds military electronic systems, 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."

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

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