A factory involved in the production of parts used in the Iron Dome missile defense system is on the brink of collapse.
Fifty workers from the Sanmina SCI Factory in Lod rallied across from the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, in protest of the impending shutdown, set for March.
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As a result of the decision, 400 workers could lose their jobs. The workers, who dubbed themselves "the brains behind Iron Dome," refuse to make peace with the decision, and are currently contemplating additional action.
'Iron Dome saves lives' (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
During Tuesday's protest, the workers chanted slogans like "A country under threat" and "Today, national security has been compromised," with some holding signs that read: "Closing down Sanmina will hurt national security" and "The last war has proven that Iron Dome saves lives."
Head of the factory's workers union, Morris Mansur, threatened to launch an official labor dispute and to shut down factory operations in coming days.
According to Mansur, "No worker or manager will be allowed to enter the building, and no parts, material or products will be allowed to leave it." He added that the machine charged with producing parts for Iron Dome will not be removed from the building. "Every mother and father needs to wake up and cry out," the union head shouted.
The protest (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
"We feel used. Now that Operation Pillar of Defense is over they want to get rid of us," one of the workers said. Malka Har-Nesher, a quality assessment worker in the factory said: "During Pillar of Defense the Iron Dome system was like a soldier and that was what protected us. Now they want to stop it? Every Israeli citizen should be concerned that they are forcing us to discontinue the system's production."
Workers have approached Sanmina's global management, as well as contacting the Defense Ministry, demanding that they halt the factory's closing.
"We have been proven a success by the amount of Iron Dome interceptions. If they allow another factory to do what we know how to do best, I am skeptical about the system's success in future operations," said Zamira Achdut, a middle management worker. "The Defense Ministry is allowing foreign management to make critical decisions regarding Israel and that is very dangerous."
The Defense Ministry said that "We are sorry for every employee who will lose their job, but in this case the company's American management decided to shut down their Israeli branch for reasons known only to them. We cannot help those who do not want our help." The statement noted that at no point did Sanmina management inform the ministry or request its assistance.
The Defense Ministry said that a review of the situation with the project's contractor, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, it turned out that Sanmina "is only one supplier out of the many involved in the Iron Dome project. The decision will have no impact on production schedules or on Israel's supply of Iron Dome systems."