×

Israeli workers strike nationwide to protest Teva layoffs

Israeli employees of Teva, the world's biggest manufacturer of generic drugs, hold placard during a protest in the centre of Jerusalem on December 17, 2017, against plans by the pharmaceutical giant to shed employees
MENAHEM KAHANA | AFP | Getty Images
Israeli employees of Teva, the world's biggest manufacturer of generic drugs, hold placard during a protest in the centre of Jerusalem on December 17, 2017, against plans by the pharmaceutical giant to shed employees

Israel's national trade union is holding a nationwide strike to protest generic drugmaker Teva's decision to lay off a quarter of its workforce.

Israel-based Teva announced last Thursday that it was cutting 14,000 jobs worldwide, including 1,700 jobs in Israel. The company is considered a national treasure and is one of the largest private-sector employers.

The strike, set to end at noon, halted operations at Israel's main international airport and seaports on Sunday morning. Banks and government services were closed, and hospitals scaled back operations. In Jerusalem, dozens of protesters blocked traffic near the entrance to a Teva plant. Some held placards saying, ""Bring the failed management of Teva to justice."

Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat, joined the protest, telling workers he would do everything possible to keep the plant open.