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      Pri Galil’s New Owners to Give Workers 5% Raise, Hire 400 More

      The story of the embattled northern factory ends well: None of Pri-Galil’s workers will be fired, all will get raises, hundreds will be hired.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 3/4/2009, 10:11 PM

      Flash 90

      After a desperate public battle to save their factory from going under, Pri Galil’s workers can go to bed Wednesday with a smile on their lips. The new owner, the Chatzi Chinam store chain, has signed an agreement specifying that none of the employees will be fired. In addition, the 150 employees will receive a 5 percent pay raise.  

      One hundred more permanent workers will be hired, as will 300 seasonal workers.

      The agreement was signed by Chatzi Chinam owner Zaki Shalom, along with Histadrut Labor boss Ofer Eini and Moti Chaziza, chairman of Pri Galil’s workers’ union.

      The Pri-Galil factory in Hatzor Haglilit was sold Wednesday to Chatzi Chinam, which presented the highest bid to banks to buy the factory. As part of the sale, the banks agreed to help finance factory workers' salaries and benefits. Bank Leumi and Israel Discount Bank agreed to set aside NIS 16.5 million for payment of Pri Galil management’s debts to employees, including pension fund payments and sick leave payments that had been withheld.

      “We did not have to do this but we did it, in order to remove the last obstacle to Pri Galil’s continued existence, so that Shalom will receive a ‘clean’ factory.”

      Ofer Eini thanked Shalom. “He did an important deed that helps the continued livelihood of hundreds of people in a region ravaged by unemployment,” he said.

      The factory accounts for almost 30 percent of Hatzor Haglilit’s employment.