The Brill boot factory, which has produced footwear for the IDF for decades, announced that it will close after failing to secure another year of orders from the military.
Brill notified the stock exchange on Wednesday that it would summon its 100 workers, most of whom are in their fifties, for redundancy meetings over the next 30 days.
The factory, located in Rishon Lezion, has been struggling in recent years to prevent an IDF plan to begin buying its boots from the United States as part of Israel’s $3 billion aid package. A stipulation of the package is that three quarters of the money must be spent in the United States, in American dollars.
Brill, which has operated since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, intends to continue negotiating with the Defense Ministry in the hope of reversing the decision before the factory closes its gates.
Knesset members and committees have actively tried to keep the IDF contract with Brill alive — one MK even took the initiative and showed off his own pair of Brill boots — but last November the Defense Ministry notified Brill that due to budget constraints it would not be renewing its annual order for over 80,000 boots at the beginning of 2014.
The Defense Ministry defended its decision to buy army boots from abroad.
“Over the past ten years the Defense Ministry has bought over 870,000 boots from Brill for the IDF, at a total cost of NIS 300 million,” the ministry said in a statement. “The establishment met all of its obligations to the Brill factory even when there were many quality issues with the boot and despite the American alternative for a better and cheaper shoe.”