Weakening Dollar 'National Disaster'

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CBNNews.com - The weakened American dollar may force Israeli industries to size down by letting thousands of employees go.

"Two weeks ago, I said the dollar's crash was a national disaster, and some thought I was exaggerating," Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, told business leaders at an emergency meeting in Tel Aviv earlier this week.

"Since then, the dollar has decreased further, by 4 percent. I can say unequivocally that if the dollar remains where it is, we're certainly on course for an economic disaster," he said.

"Unfortunately, at today's rates, we're selling at a loss and we're losing new tenders," Brosh said. "We will be forced to minimize production lines and fire workers," he said.

Ofer Eini, chairman of the Histadrut, Israel's national labor federation, said the government must seek solutions before tens of thousands of workers lose their jobs.

"This is a problem for us no less than it is for you," he told the country's business owners. "We have to cause the prime minister to call an emergency meeting with the governor [of the Bank of Israel], the Manufacturers Association of Israel's president, and anyone else connected to the decision-making process," he said.

Eini said the labor union was prepared to close down the country with a one-day general strike if that's what it would take "to wake up the government."

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai agreed that the government needs to address the effects of the weakening dollar on Israeli exports and seek solutions for Israeli companies facing mass layoffs.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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