Knesset Tells Teva: Freeze Layoffs — Or Else

YERUSHALAYIM -
Finance Committee Chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism). (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Knesset Finance Committee has given Teva Pharmaceuticals an ultimatum: Either hold off on 350 planned layoffs to allow for talks with the workers, or face tough scrutiny of the generous tax breaks it has been enjoying, Globes reported Sunday.

The committee wants a three-month postponement of any layoffs. Knesset Finance Committee chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said, “I say that the benefits that were given should have been given, but only on condition that in the hour of need, management talks with employees that have done their work for them. We don’t oppose layoffs if the workers’ committee is a party to it.”

MK Micky Rosenthal (Zionist Camp) said that if Teva does not comply with the request, “The committee will take off its gloves. Teva has received 18 billion shekels in tax benefits over the past decade. That is an inconceivable amount.”

Teva’s senior vice president for global operations, David Lustig, said the company would respond within three days. “My main task is to strengthen Teva in Israel. The employees are important to us, the company is important to us and the state of Israel is important to us. Teva is in crisis,” he said.

Meanwhile, Teva announced the launch of generic Epiduo (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) gel 0.1 percent/2.5 percent in the U.S. for the treatment of acne in patients 9 years of age and older.

Teva was the first company to file a generic application for Epiduo and is expected to benefit from 180-days of generic product exclusivity. This launch marks the most recent addition to Teva’s portfolio of over 40 dermatology products.