Tnuva Workers Threaten Strike: Owners Washing in Milk and Honey, Leaving Crumbs'

The union at Tnuva, Israel's biggest food supplier, on Wednesday asked the Histadrut labor federation to declare an official labor dispute.

Haim Bior
Haim Bior
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Haim Bior
Haim Bior

Tnuva workers are threatening to strike, shutting down production and delivery of dairy products after negotiations over a new salary deal broke down.

The union at Tnuva, Israel's biggest food supplier, on Wednesday asked the Histadrut labor federation to declare an official labor dispute. Under the law, a full-blown strike is only legal two weeks after a dispute is formally declared.

The previous wage agreement governing labor relations at Tnuva expired at the beginning of last summer, just when the so-called "cottage cheese" protests against the high cost of living began. The union ecided to be responsible and not raise additional financial demands at the time, said Ahiav Simhi, chairman of Tnuva's workers union. The workers had thought to help the company during this unprecedented time of crisis, showing solidarity as consumers turned against the former favorite and boycotted it.

But: "The responsibility shown by the 7,000 employees made no impression on the owners and board," Simhi said.

Only now, nine months after the previous agreement expired, has Tnuva chairman Shlomo Rodav instructed management to start negotiating with the workers, Simhi said. They don't expect to be offered more than crumbs, despite Tnuva's large profits, said Simhi.

Tnuva is controlled by the international investments fund Apax Partners.

The workers are demanding 10% raises, and bonuses for all when the new agreement is signed. The bonuses should be equivalent to a monthly salary and will be adjusted for seniority, in their view.

The union is also demanding that Tnuva immediately hire hundreds of subcontract workers as permanent employees. Most of these work as cleaners or on delivery trucks.

"Just a month ago we were informed that Tnuva will distribute a NIS 380 million dividend, building on the previous dividend to total NIS 2.15 billion," said Simhi.

"That is the result of the employees contribution. We refuse to accept that the shareholders disport themselves in hot tubs filled with milk and honey while the board preaches morality and bewails a lack of ability to reward the workers properly," he added.

"We will not stand aside and watch how the owners milk the Tnuva cow. The insatiable shareholder will find himself facing a battle with employees that will make the cottage cheese protests of consumers pale in comparison," said Simhi.

Tnuva management said that it declines to handle the company's labor relations via the media."



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott