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Yesterday, dozens of irate workers at troubled Israel Military Industries rioted at the firm's headquarters in Ramat Hasharon, forcing management out of the building, according to the union. However, an IMI spokeswoman denied this.

The company said the workers have been refusing to negotiate with management over a recovery plan which would include 500 layoffs and 8 percent wage cuts for the rest.

Management said that these steps were a condition imposed by the treasury before it would transfer NIS 300 million to IMI to save the cash-strapped defense firm. For the third sucessive month, IMI has not paid either wages or pension to its retired employees, on time.

The IMI union has also warned company board members not to permit the firm to break the law by illegally withholding monies deducted from employee wages.

The union demanded that the board members use their authority to force the company to make good on commitments by transferring: employee payroll deductions for pensions and insurance to the funds and insurance companies; payments to advanced training funds (keren hishtalmut); and salaries and pensions to workers.

According to the union, the company has been withholding money already deducted from wages, which is a criminal offense.