Business in Brief

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Treasury tells doctors their pay accord is safe

Kobi Amsalem, the Finance Ministry’s director of wages, has said that the government has no intention of freezing or canceling the salary agreement signed with the country’s doctors in 2011 following a fierce dispute. He made the promise in a letter to Dr. Leonid Eidelman, chairman of the Israel Medical Association, who had sought clarification after media reports said the ministry might try to retract the terms of an agreement with the doctors promising them substantial substantial pay hikes. “As you know, a new government still hasn’t been formed following the January election, so economic plans haven’t been formulated in any event,” wrote Amsalem. (Moti Bassok)

Retail chains boost sales 5% in last 3 months

Sales turnover for store chains in Israel rose 5.0% on an annualized basis for the period November 2012 through January 2013, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday. The growth followed a three-month period from August to October when sales were unchanged. Food retailers increased their sales by 2.2% in the last three months after suffering a 1.8% drop the previous period. For all of 2012, turnover for retail chains grew 3.8%, following a 1.4% increase the previous year. Supermarket sales were up 2.5% after rising just 0.8% in 2011. Clothing and shoe store chains registered the largest gain in sales for 2012, rising 9.8%. (Moti Bassok)

Zim workers threaten to step up sanctions in labor dispute

Employees of Zim Integrated Shipping Services demonstrated outside the company’s headquarters in Haifa Thursday and threatened to expand the sanctions they called this week, claiming management is violating their collective agreement by firing 100 workers. The sanctions have nearly completely paralyzed services to clients. “We’re not going to agree to workers being forced out, only through voluntary resignations,” said Avi Shitrit, chairman of the workers’ committee, adding that staff had not received a 3% seniority raise or an additional 2% due them in January. (Haim Bior)

30 start-ups to present at New York conference

More than 30 Israel start-up companies, including Waze, Pango Parking, RoboSavvy, eyeSight and HeadSense, will be presented at the Israel Dealmakers Summit, a two-day conference in New York City on March 5 and 6 hosted by Landmark Ventures. The conference, drawing top executives of major companies and investors from 20 countries, will be opened by Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric, will focus on the hottest trends in the technological world driving global growth in leading sectors including digital media, cleantech, Internet and medical equipment. Landmark is an investment bank specializing in private financing and mergers & acquisitions. (TheMarker staff)

Zim workers protest. Credit: Rami Shloosh