JERUSALEM – Tens of thousands of Israel’s workers participated on Sunday in a half-day strike in solidarity with employees from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
The Israeli multinational drug company Teva had announced it would dismiss over 14,000 workers worldwide and cut around 2,000 jobs in Israel, prompting widespread protests that included Sunday’s strike, which began early in the morning and lasted until 1000 GMT.
Personnel from government ministries, tribunals, banks, the stock market, parliament, museums and even the borders with Egypt and Jordan took part in the strike, according to state-run radio Kan.
Workers also participated in the strike at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, leading to the cancellation of three flights and the delay of dozens, the online newspaper Times of Israel reported.
While hospitals only provided minimum services, trains and buses ran normally.
The main Israeli labor union federation, Histadrut, excused public transit workers from striking so as to be able to return soldiers to their bases after the weekend.
The strike aims to send a clear message that Histadrut does not accept the dismissal of workers, the federation’s president, Avi Nisenkorn said.
Sunday’s strike was the first large-scale work-related protest Israel has seen in years, and nearly the entire public sector participated, according to the Times of Israel.