News   /   Palestine

Strike, protests over drugmaker Teva layoffs shutter key services across Israel

Israeli workers protest outside the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries factory in Ashdod, December 17, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Hundreds of workers of the generic drugmaker Teva have held demonstrations to protest the multinational pharmaceutical company’s decision to lay off nearly 1,800 of its workforce as a half-day strike over the move suspended key services across the occupying entity.

Israel’s trade union Histadrut on Sunday held the crippling strike to voice its strong dissent against the move by the Israeli Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's largest manufacturer of generic drugs, which intends to make 1,750 employees redundant in Israel.

The layoffs, almost one-quarter of the company’s local workforce, are part of plans, announced last week, to lay off 14,000 other Teva workers across the world over the next two years, amounting to over a quarter of its global workforce of over 55,000.

Teva workers protest against the company’s plan to lay off hundreds of employees, at the entrance to Jerusalem al-Quds, on December 17, 2017. (Photo by Flash90)

The work stoppage, considered to be the biggest to hit Israel in several years, shut down banks, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, government offices, the Knesset, ports, airports, insurance companies, the courts, post offices, phone companies, Israel Electric Corporation, health services, universities, local municipalities and regional councils, along with Teva facilities across the occupied territories.

A check-in line is closed in Ben Gurion airport during a strike in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 17, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Meanwhile, protesting rallies were held against the move in Jerusalem al-Quds, the coastal cities of Ashdod and Netanya, and the central Israel city of Petah Tikva, where the company’s headquarters is based.

Workers of the Teva Company protest against the company plan to lay off hundreds of employees, outside the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Jerusalem al-Quds, December 17, 2017. (Photo by Flash90)

In several cities, including Jerusalem al-Quds, protesters set tires on fire, but according to Israeli police they were quickly extinguished. Demonstrators also briefly blocked the entrance to the city before police removed them and their barricades from the highway.

Israeli employees of Teva, the world's biggest manufacturer of generic drugs, hold placards during a protest in the center of Jerusalem al-Quds on December 17, 2017, against plans by the pharmaceutical giant to shed employees. (Photo by AFP)

According to Israel media outlets, around 200 workers of the company in Jerusalem al-Quds barricaded themselves in city’s Teva factory in protest to the move, preventing managers from leaving the building.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku