Modgal Workers Sent on Paid Leave

Pri Hagalil isn't the only company in trouble over in Hatzor Haglilit. Modgal Metals has sent its 170 workers on a week's collective leave because orders are down. The workers will be getting paid for the week.

The Modgal plant in the Galilean town is considered a leader in its field of cast iron. Its specialties include large series of thin-walled cast iron products, using the most advanced equipment of its kind in Israel. Its products include equipment for pipelines and water systems, accessories for automated fire extinguishing systems, parts for heating and ventilation systems, filtering systems, and more.

Most of its workers come from the very same towns that Pri Hagalil's staffers hail from.

Almost nobody at the company wanted to talk to the press yesterday. Yona Partok, chairman of the Histadrut labor federation's Upper Galilee region, confirmed that the workers are on paid leave.

"The global crisis has reached us here, too," commented Danny Cohen, chairman of the Modgal union committee. "On Sunday we come back to work, hoping for better times. The situation is really tough."

Modgal exports most of its products, Cohen said, for example making parts for the braking systems of Mercedes and Fiat cars, which are manufactured abroad.

One man who would talk is worker Haim Katorza, 43, who lives in Hatzor Haglilit. "My wife Flora works at Pri Hagalil. Her future is unclear now, and now the future of my job isn't clear either. I moved from Kibbutz Dovrat, I got a good job here. Now I don't know what will happen to us."