Netanyahu Vows to Help Buffer Teva Workers From Turnaround Plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government will do its utmost to blunt the impact of job cuts at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. as the debt-saddled company carries out its restructuring plan, Bloomberg News reported. Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon will meet this week with Teva Chief Executive Officer Kare Schultz to try to “minimize the blow to workers,” according to an e-mailed statement from the prime minister’s office. Netanyahu said he would do everything possible to prevent the closure of local plants and ensure that Teva, based near Tel Aviv, “will remain an Israeli company.” Netanyahu stepped in after Schultz announced plans last week to slash 25 percent of Teva’s workforce and suspend dividends, aiming to cut $3 billion in costs and whittle down a debt pile more than twice the size of Teva’s market capitalization. On Sunday, striking workers idled Israel’s international airport, government offices, banks and stock market for half a day, pressing to scale back Teva’s plan to cut 14,000 jobs, including 1,700 in Israel. Protesting employees tied up morning rush-hour traffic Sunday and burned tires outside a Jerusalem factory, while some barricaded themselves inside. Read more.