Israel: Slaughterhouse workers – another example of class struggle

The closure of a poultry slaughterhouse in the Jezreel Valley in Israel has provoked intense anger of the 200-strong workforce.

Yesterday an interesting article appeared in the Israel newspaper, the Haaretz. The article describes how on Sunday the Off Haemek poultry slaughterhouse in the Jezreel Valley in Israel was closed by the bosses. The 200 workers employed at the slaughterhouse reacted immediately. They organised a demonstration outside the factory, but also stared burning tyres and releasing the chickens from their cages.

The CEO, Shuki Ogen, went to the factory yesterday, Monday, to negotiate with the workers but on attempting to leave the site, such was the anger of the workers, that he was pelted with stones.

The chairperson of the workers’ committee, Motti Sa'ar, called on the recently elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to provide a loan to keep the factory open. We shall see how ready Netanyahu is to intervene on behalf of the workers.

We do not know how this dispute will end, but no doubt Netanyahu has more important priorities, such as cutting pensions and welfare for the ordinary working people of Israel, while at the same time maintaining Israel’s powerful war machine to keep control over the Palestinian Territories.

No doubt, the workers at the Off Haemek poultry slaughterhouse will have been told that the threat to their livelihood comes from the Palestinians. Their real enemy is their boss and the government of Israel that allows such conditions to emerge.

After the article we published on the railway workers’ strike, Railway workers on strike in Israel, this is another example of class conflict in Israel. These incidents will grow as the living conditions of ordinary working people continue to deteriorate in the present economic situation. Although it is still early days, class conflict can only go in one direction, upwards. And in the long run, on this basis, many workers in Israel will be forced to come into conflict with the Zionist ruling class, which while defending the idea of a homeland for the Jews, in practice oppress both Jewish workers and the Palestinian people.