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TMCNet:  IKEA Israel joins wave of unionization

[February 26, 2013]

IKEA Israel joins wave of unionization

Feb 26, 2013 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Sources inform "Globes" that scores of employees at IKEA Israel's Rishon LeZion store have joined the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel), although the pace of unionization at the Netanya store is slower. The Histadrut aims to unionize one-third of IKEA Israel's 930 employees, which will give the union the right to represent all the employees. However, given the slow recruitment at the Netanya store, the Histadrut may have to be satisfied with Rishon LeZion store.

Bronfman Fisher Investments Ltd., owned by Matthew Bronfman and Sholem Fisher owns the IKEA Israel franchise. In January, the company reported NIS 770 million in sales in 2012, 39 percent more than in 2011, and the employees want a bigger piece of the pie.

IKEA Israel's management said in response, "IKEA respects its employees and considers their unionization as legitimate, so long as it is carried out without disrupting the activity of the stores and their customers." Since the precedent-setting ruling in the Pelephone Communications Ltd. unionization case by the National Labor Court in early January, that an employer does not have the right to intervene or express an opinion about unionization by employees, there has been a marked increase in unionizing in the private sector. Workers committees have been established at Kamada Ltd. (TASE: KMDA), Ubank Ltd., Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS), steelmaker Hod Assaf Industries Ltd., and other companies.

___ (c)2013 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) Visit the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) at www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/nodeview.asp fid=942 Distributed by MCT Information Services

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