Israel’s Shavuot cheese supply threatened by Tnuva labor dispute

( The Israeli dairy firm Tnuva, which just sold a majority share of its company to the Chinese government-owned Bright Food Group, is dealing with a labor dispute that could impact the supply of cheese in Israel for the Shavuot holiday.

Cheesecake, a popular Shavuot dessert. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Tnuva workers committee chairman Ahiav Simhi cited a dispute over employee compensation in the wake of the sale to Bright as the reason for a delay in the delivery of white cheeses to Tnuva's warehouses and the distribution of Tnuva’s other products to supermarkets. 

The private equity firm Apax Partners will make a tax-free 3.8 billion shekels on the sale, and workers are demanding at least the same compensation they received when Apax had acquired control. Workers had received an average bonus of five monthly salaries—about 100 million shekels overall.

"We'll slightly disrupt work. We'll load trucks by the book, rather than by usual practice," Simhi told Globes.

"Grocery stores have enough white cheese, but I assume that shortages will emerge in a day or two. We're talking about all types and all sizes of containers that are produced for the Shavu'ot holiday,” he said.

Shavuot begins the night of June 3.

Posted on May 27, 2014 .