TEL AVIV (Dec. 19)
Employes of the Ata textile mills, joined by hundreds of other workers from the Haifa area and all over northern Israel, took to the streets yesterday in an angry demonstration against the imminent closure of the Ata plant.
The textile combine, one of the largest employers in the Haifa district, has been in the hands of government receivers for several months. Formal bankruptcy has not been declared while the receivers search for a buyer or investment group that would keep the mills running. Thousands of jobs are at stake.
With commercial banks refusing to extend further loans, the deadline for shutting Ata down is December 31. The demonstrators cheered loudly when Pinhas Groob, chairman of the Ata Workers Committee, declared “they will have to cut us into little pieces before we leave Ata.” The Haifa Labor Council has threatened to call strikes throughout northern Israel if Ata’s doors are closed on January 1.
Meanwhile, the Shmuel Eisenberg Investment Group, which holds the majority of Ata shares, said today that it has invested some $10 million in the faltering industry and cannot afford to invest anymore.