Pri Galil Plant Still Closed in Ministry Dispute

Plant’s workers’ committee vowed to have a group of employees hole themselves up at the factory in response to the closure.

Alex Levac

The Pri Galil food plant in northern Israel that has been closed since Wednesday, following a dispute between the owners and the Economy Ministry, will remain shuttered Sunday. The plant’s workers’ committee vowed to have a group of employees hole themselves up at the factory in response to the closure by Pri Galil’s owners.

It appears likely that the Hatzor Haglilit facility, where 320 people are employed, will remain closed until a dispute over the amount of a government grant is resolved. The Economy Ministry claims the company – in which the owners of the Hatzi Hinam supermarket chain, Zaki Shalom and Mordechai Kuperly, have a stake – has failed to abide by the conditions that were imposed two and a half years ago, in connection with the ministry’s 9 million shekel ($2.3 million) grant. Co-owner Oshik Efraim rejected the ministry’s position as “nonsense.”

The Histadrut labor federation has declared a work dispute at Pri Galil, in an bid to support the workers over prospects that the factory will shut permanently. However, Histadrut regional chairman, Yona Partok, expressed the hope that, as in other instances since 2011 where the owners have shut it down over the government aid issue, this time, too, the plant would reopen.