Israel Electric Corporation chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal warned Monday that the company would have to fire 600 workers in 2016, after shrinking its workforce by 440 workers in 2015.
The corporation, which is almost entirely state-owned, is undergoing a dramatic internal reform that has faced stiff opposition from a powerful labor union.
“In 2015, after a fight, we finally managed to fire 440 workers,” Ron-Tal said in comments quoted Monday by Army Radio.
“In 2016, in the midst of a plan — I say this with care because I very much hope it will be with the agreement [of the union] in the framework of the reform — we will have to say goodbye to another 600.”
The reform includes several steps intended to extract the IEC from its economic difficulties. This includes issuing up to 20 percent of the company on the stock exchange, the sale of two major power plants, buyouts for 2,000 employees, and opening part of the grid — the part that connects private homes and offices to the national and municipal grids — to new, private companies.
The plan aims to establish a new state-owned management company to replace the IEC’s current management.
The new company, which is already detailed in the state budget and is to be implemented by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s office, will buy electricity from the IEC as well from private power plants.