Amid a labor union strike and social unrest, Israel-based pharmaceutical company Teva has announced they’ll be delaying layoffs for 140 of the planned 340 employees of its Jerusalem manufacturing facility until 2019. While the remainder of the nearly 350 employees scheduled to be let-go will still be laid off this year, the decision has brought an end to the strike.
In December, Teva announced it would be reducing its workforce by 25 percent by the end of 2019 in a restructuring effort aimed at cutting costs. The move is the first step taken by the generic drugmaker’s new CEO, Kare Schultz, after he started the position in September of 2017.
“Teva is conducting an intense process of consultation with the unions and is close to reaching agreements regarding the number of employees to depart the Jerusalem site in the first quarter of 2018, as well as regarding the process of closing the Jerusalem site at the end of 2019, as was communicated,” said a spokesperson from Teva. “We welcome the return to work tomorrow of all of Teva’s tablet plant’s employees in Jerusalem. Teva is committed to a fair process and to providing assistance in training and search for employment opportunities to employees whose position has become redundant.”
In the meantime, Super-Pharm, Israel’s largest chain of pharmacies, is reportedly showing interest in purchasing another of Teva’s manufacturing plants in Ashdod. According to the source, Super-Pharm could pay up to $23 million (80 million shekels) to acquire the facility, with plans to retain the 70 staff members who work at the plant.
“Super-Pharm would be happy to acquire Teva Medical and integrate its workforce,” said a source from the company. “The chain hopes to continue operations in this vital factory, which is responsible among other things for feeding premature babies in hospitals around the country.”