Zim union threatens to renew sanctions

Workers committee chairman: They are refusing to pay the 3% raise promised for next July, accept 100 layoffs, and greater managerial flexibility.

The Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. workers committee is threatening to renew, and even intensify, labor sanctions in response to their displeasure and management's new proposal for a labor contract, which allegedly better suits the company's crisis.

"If until now, they wanted to strip off our pants, now they want to strip off our underwear," Zim workers committee chairman Avi Sheetrit told "Globes". "They're doing us a favor by giving us a 2% raise and 1% seniority raise, which was supposed to be given last January as part of the 2011 labor contract. They are refusing to pay the 3% raise promised for next July, and demanding that we forego the raise, accept 100 layoffs, and greater managerial flexibility."

Sheetrit said that the workers committee also agrees to voluntary retirement in exchange for increased severance compensation or an early pension. Management, however, has a closed list of 100 employees slated to be fired. The workers committee says that Zim has transferred substantial activity to Hong Kong and the service unit in Germany, and that the transfer of more operations abroad is in the works.

Zim said in response, "The workers committee has made false allegations to avoid discussing critical matters. There are no plans to move the company's offices overseas. Zim has branches around the world, but its core business is in Israel, where it will stay. Zim has been undergoing massive streamlining since 2010. The company is streamlining to cut operating costs by hundreds of millions of dollars, including a 10% cut in executive salaries, reducing staff overseas, and branches in the Pacific, which did not involve layoffs."

Today, "Globes" reports that the salary cost of Nir Gilad, the CEO of Zim's parent company, Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), was NIS 21.1 million in 2011, including NIS 13.6 million in stock options, and that his salary cost in 2007-11 was NIS 73.3 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 21, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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