Nationwide General Strike Over Teva to Bring Israel to Standstill Until Noon on Sunday

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Teva employees protest in Jerusalem following the Israeli drugmaker announced mass layoffs, December 14, 2017.
Teva employees protest in Jerusalem following the Israeli drugmaker announced mass layoffs, December 14, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

The Histadrut labor federation approved a nationwide general strike Sunday morning, in solidarity with workers at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries who face massive layoffs at the financially ailing drug manufacturer.

Ben-Gurion International Airport will be closed to flights from 8 A.M. to noon. Flights departing before or after that four-hour window will not be affected. Several flights that had been scheduled to leave during the morning were rescheduled.

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“It’s absurd that a company that’s shutting down its business in Israel received 10 million shekels ($2.85 million) per worker from the state. These were tax benefits that amounted to 22 billion shekels over the last few years,” said Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn last week, referring to the planned layoff of 1,750 Teva employees in Israel.

In addition to Ben-Gurion, Israel’s sea ports, insurance companies, banks, government offices, support units and many other institutions will be closed Sunday morning. Hospitals will operate on a weekend footing during that time.

All Teva plants in Israel will be closed for the entire day.

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Excluded from the strike are Israel Railways, which will keep its regular schedule, as well as other public transportation services, such as buses.

Psychometric exams will be held according to schedule.

Government bodies that will be on strike include the civil service commissioner, the Knesset and the Fire and Rescue Authority

Also on strike will be local governments and the Union of Local Authorities. Water corporations and municipal companies will be striking too.

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Government agencies including the Israel Tax Authority, the Bank of Israel, the Employment Service, the Kan broadcasting corporation, the Israel Securities Authority, the National Parks and Nature Reserves Authority, Magen David Adom emergency services and the Israel Airports Authority will all be on strike Sunday morning.

Government companies including civilian employees of the Israel Defense Forces, the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency will be taking part in the strike.

The strike is also slated to include health maintenance organizations.

Colleges and universities will go on strike too, including the Open University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Technion in Haifa, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Seminar Hakibbutzim college.

Museums including the Land of Israel Museum will be on strike, as will be financial institutions including banks and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

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