Dimona Declares Shutdown Sunday

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
Mayor of Dimona, Benny Biton. (Miriam Alsterl/Flash90)
Mayor of Dimona, Benny Biton. (Miriam Alsterl/Flash90)

The Dimona city council has declared a citywide shutdown on Sunday in solidarity with striking Israel Chemicals workers who are fighting a wave of layoffs, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.

Schools will be closed, and Highway 25, a main thoroughfare that passes through Dimona, will be blocked, city officials said.

Dimona Mayor Beni Bitton announced the strike at a meeting on Tuesday night with city council members and with representatives of workers’ committees in the region, including Israel Chemicals, Dead Sea Works and Meteor. The latter, a manufacturer of agricultural netting located in Dimona, also faces closure.

Bitton said that he had called finance minister-designate Moshe Kahlon, asking that he use the government’s power as the majority shareholder in Israel Chemicals to veto the threatened layoffs.

“You’re a socially aware minister, connected to the people. You carried out a revolution in the cellular communications industry. Carry out one small revolution for us,” Mr. Biton said that he told Kahlon over the phone.

Approximately 170 workers face layoffs or involuntary early retirement at Israel Chemicals; about 60 at Meteor.