Mideast Daily News

Teva Workers Threaten To Blow Up Jerusalem Factory

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

December 18, 2017

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Some 200 employees of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries remained barricaded in their Jerusalem factory on Monday, threatening to blow up the facility if it is closed as part of the company’s plan to slash one-quarter of its Israeli workforce. “Our factory is a ticking bomb, we have a stockpile of explosive and poisonous materials,” the chairman of the workers union at the Teva plant was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, hundreds of Teva employees converged on the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem in a bid to block entrance to the government building. The world’s largest generic drug maker, which has fallen on hard times, announced last week its intention to lay off 1,750 Israeli workers in addition to 12,000 others worldwide. In response, Israel’s powerful Histadrut trade union called a general strike on Sunday which paralyzed the public sector, shutting down, among other institutions, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Ben-Gurion Airport and Parliament. Another strike has been called for Monday afternoon. Once an Israeli “success story,” Teva has been saddled with debt after last year’s ill-fated $40 billion acquisition of the generics arm of rival Allergan, a takeover that came amid changes to U.S. regulations that increased market competition resulting in lower prices for generic drugs. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is slated to meet with Teva’s CEO in a bid to prevent the shuttering of the Jerusalem factory, where most of the corporation’s local workers are employed.

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