January 10, 2018 / 1:13 PM / a year ago

Teva Pharm agrees with workers on closing Jerusalem inhaler plant

TEL AVIV, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with workers on closing its inhaler factory in Jerusalem by the end of 2019, ending weeks of labour unrest at the facility.

The plant is slated to be shut as part of a global restructuring in which the world’s largest generic drugmaker will cut more than a quarter of its workforce, or 14,000 jobs.

Since the cost-cutting plan was announced last month, workers from the inhaler plant have been disrupting operations.

Under the agreement reached between Teva, the Histadrut labour federation and company unions, up to 60 workers will leave the company by the end of February, while the remaining 180 will remain until the facility is shut in December 2019.

Employees will return to work on Thursday. Teva said it will provide them with training and counselling to find alternative employment.

Earlier this month workers from an adjacent tablet plant, which employs 500 people, reached an agreement with Teva on closing that factory by the end of 2019.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked the company not to close the Jerusalem site - a request Teva rejected.

Under a two-year plan, Teva aims to reduce costs by $3 billion by the end of 2019, from about $16.1 billion in 2017. (Reporting by Tova Cohen, editing by David Evans)

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