Tech Briefs

SAP workers in Israel to unionize; Partner gives options to junior staff; Tender on the way for Timna solar park.

Tomer Appelbaum

SAP workers in Israel unionize after layoffs
Employees of the Israeli subsidiary of SAP, the German software giant, completed their drive to unionize on Sunday through the Histadrut labor federation and have established a workers’ committee. The move comes four months after dozens of employees were laid off from SAP’s development center in Ra’anana. SAP Israel is the largest supplier of business software in the country and currently has a staff of 650. By law, management must recognize a union that has signed up at least of third of a company’s workforce. In the case of SAP, 40% of the staff has joined the union, according to Amihai Stinger of the Histadrut. SAP is the second high-tech firm to unionize though the Histadrut after employees at Nice Systems took the same step in March amid concerns about layoffs there. For its part, SAP Israel said it seeks to work for the benefit of its employees and will comply with its legal obligations to the new union. (Haim Bior)

Partner gives stock options to junior staff
Partner Communications, the cellular service provider that does business as Orange in Israel, announced plans on Monday to provide stock options to lower-ranking employees. Although the company did not provide precise details, it is expected to benefit hundreds of junior employees and cost the company tens of millions of shekels. It will also dilute control of the cellular communications firm. The exercise of the options is conditioned on the achievement of certain performance targets. The sale price on the three million option shares is 26 shekels ($7.22) per share, similar to the price that it has been trading at over the past month. In other developments, Partner announced that it was recognizing a Histadrut workers’ committee at the company after a unionization drive signed up at least the minimum one-third of staff. The country’s two other longstanding cellular providers, Cellcom and Pelephone, are already unionized. (Amitai Ziv and Haim Bior)

Tender coming for Timna solar park
The Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative will be publishing a tender to set up and operate the Timna Solar Park, a new 50 Megawatt PV Tracker solar energy field in southern Israel, it stated yesterday. The new Timna Solar Park will be located on a 1000-dunam plot adjacent to the former Timna Mines, 28 kilometers north of Eilat, the organization noted. Companies will be bidding on the land; the price per kilowatt has already been set by Israel’s government, it noted. (TheMarker)