Haifa Chemical employees burn tires, block entrance to plant
More than one hundred Haifa Chemical employees burn tires and block entrance to Haifa Chemical's southern plant in protest of plans to shutter northern plant amid dispute with city of Haifa.
More than 100 Haifa Chemicals employees protested on Thursday, burning tires and blocking entrance to the company's southern plant near Dimona.



Thursday's protests mark the second day of unrest, with employees calling for the resignation of Minister of Environmental Protection, Ze'ev Elkin, who was quoted on Wednesday as saying the closure of the southern plant is "redundant."


Haifa Chemical protest near Dimona
Haifa Chemical protest near Dimona


Yehuda Peretz, head of the worker's union for Haifa Chemicals in the south, said, "We are anxiously following updates. The fate of the northern plant is sealed and we are next in line. It isn't too late yet, we can still save the southern factory and the 400 workers. We call on the minister—don't close the southern plant."


In response to the recent closure, a meeting was held Thursday morning with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Environmental Protection Minister Elkin, Deputy Attorney General Erez Kaminitz, Haifa Chemicals representatives and officials from both the Ashdod and Haifa ports, along with officials from the Home Front Command.



The meeting was held in an attempt to find a solution to importing ammonia, while keeping Haifa Chemical plants open.


During the meeting, it was agreed that the government would help replenish the supply of ammonia to the southern plant. However, the situation for the northern plant is grimmer due to the opposition of Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.


Yahav's opposition to the import and storage of ammonia in the northern facility makes the renewal of business licenses and building permits difficult to achieve for Haifa Chemicals.



The bleak outlook for the northern plant leaves many employees, both in the north and south, feeling anxious in regards to their future.


Vera, a 43-year-old employee, said, "Three months ago, he (Yahav) came and said, 'We will take care of all the workers in Haifa Chemicals.' But in the meantime, I don't see anyone who was hired by the city of Haifa or anyone who was called for something related to the municipality."


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