Text size

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry will hold a job fair in Netanya in an effort to find placements for some of the 400 IKEA employees left jobless by the fire that destroyed the Swedish home furnishings store on Saturday. Dozens of employers are due to take part in the event, which will be held next week.

Ministry Director General Sharon Kedmi said the concern is that workers who are unable to work at the chain's other local branch, in Rishon Letzion, will be fired.

The blaze, which virtually destroyed the store and its contents, began on the roof of the building, due to an as-yet-undetermined cause. Arson has been ruled out by investigators.

"Large employers in and around Netanya, in industry and commercial services, have expressed interest in hiring dozens of the IKEA workers in the event of their dismissal," Kedmi said. The job fair, which is being held in cooperation with the Netanya municipality and the Employment Bureau, will be open to all job-seekers.

Tamar Pinkus, director of consumer protection and fair trade in the ministry, said the fire has not caused any problems in terms of customers receiving goods purchased at the branch prior to the blaze and has not interrupted returns and exchanges.

The Netanya District chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, Moshe Samia, said the union is working with IKEA on a proposal that would provide unemployment compensation to the affected employees through May and possibly for an additional month or two.