Zim Workers Saved by Cost-Cutting

by Miriam Shaviv
The Jerusalem Post
September 13, 2001

More than 200 workers at Zim Israel Navigation Company counted themselves lucky Tuesday, having been moved out of their World Trade Center offices by the company just two weeks ago.

At the same time, Israeli company ClearForest, whose international headquarters were located in the 47th floor of One World Trade Center, reported that none of its staff was hurt when the building collapsed. "When we watched the pictures, we felt so lucky," Zim spokesperson Dan Nadler said. "Our entire US operations were run out of the 16th floor."

Zim left so recently that CNN, on its Web site, still lists the company as one of the businesses in the WTC.

Zim moved its US corporate headquarters to Norfolk, Virginia. "The aim was to save on rent," said Nadler. "We bought a modest building instead of paying New York rates."

Nadler said the company is unaware of any other Israeli firms in the building, but said he is sure "there are other Israelis working there."

Meanwhile, Sigal Srur, ClearForest's director of human resources, said that four or five of the company's 18 workers were in the building when it was hit. "They got out at the last minute, and two who were lightly injured with scrapes have already been discharged from the hospital," she said from the company's Or Yehuda R&D offices.

According to Srur, the company lost "mostly marketing and business development material. Luckily, unlike many US companies which were totally wiped out, our R&D is here, so all of our technology is here."

She said that the company is already looking for temporary offices in New York and emphasized that the company's new permanent offices be located in New York.

Copyright 2001 The Jerusalem Post

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