IDF Marches on, in U.S.-Made Boots

YERUSHALAYIM -

Boots for IDF soldiers will no longer be made in Israel, and the company that has been supplying them is shutting down, leaving about a hundred people jobless, Globes reported on Wednesday.

Six months after a Ministry of Defense notification that “following defense budget cuts” and “a budgetary crisis,” “the Ministry of Defense will not issue orders for military boots from the company,” Brill Shoe Industries is going out of business.

Brill announced that all the workers will be summoned to pre-layoff hearings, and in 30 days the layoffs will go into effect. The company reported the closing of its production line to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

Brill stressed that over the past six months countless attempts have been made to save the production line and keep the factory workers employed, and to pay full salaries for time in which there was no active production. But the Ministry of Defense decision to import military boots from the U.S. made the company’s position untenable.

Brill Military and Outdoor division manager Shimon Horovitz said, “Employing these workers, most of whom are 50 or older, is what we have been looking at throughout the recent period. We fought the Ministry of Defense for them, but, in light of the Ministry’s refusal to place orders, and its insistence on ordering from the U.S., we have no choice but to close the production line. It pains and saddens us. The factory workers are very close to our hearts.”

In August 2011, Brill received notice from the Ministry of Defense that boots would be made overseas. In February 2012, the then-Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni, demanded that the Ministry of Defense find a solution that would  prevent the factory’s closing. As a result, the Ministry made an additional procurement of just 63,000 pairs of boots.