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Cellcom Israel ends labour dispute with workers

Telco Cellcom Israel has reached an agreement with its employees ending a labour dispute, the company has said.

The operator’s executives had been under fire from employees following September’s announcement that it was slashing its workforce by a third as part of a programme to shift ILS150 million (€38 million) off the books.

This decision led to a walkout from employees and was followed by the resignations of Cellcom CEO Nir Sztern, CTO Ron Shvili, and Sholem Lapidot, the CEO of Cellcom’s holding company Discount Investment Company (DIC).

However, having announced a comprehensive restructuring plan, the Histadrut (the union representing the company’s employees) has entered into a collective employee agreement which amends its current arrangement with new terms.

The terms are as follows:

  • A voluntary retirement program for 450 employees, following which the Company estimates it will record a one time expense in amount of approximately NIS55 million (€14.74 million);
  • The Company will grant entitled employees options and RSUs, subject to all approvals and procedures required by law in three grants, as follows: (1) On June 1, 2020; (2) if the Company’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2020 as reflected in its 2020 annual financial report is positive; (3) if the Company’s net income for 2021 as reflected in its 2021 annual financial report is positive.
  • The Company’s employees shall be entitled to nominate a board member to the Company’s board of directors, subject to the Company’s prior approval and all approvals and procedures required by law.

The Histadrut has also called off September’s labour dispute.

Despite its ongoing losses, Cellcom Israel is reportedly in talks to acquire mobile phone operator rival Golan Telecom. It had previously tried to merge with rival telco Hot, however it is believed that Hot would rather strike a deal with Altice Europe subsidiary Partner.