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Airline crisis: Will Ben Gurion International Airport stop servicing EL AL?Israel Airport Authority employees are threatening that if EL AL’s crisis does not end within 24 hours, Ben Gurion International Airport staff will not provide service to the airline. Flights have been canceled and the Labor Court may get involved. Airline pilots claim that the wage cuts are brutal.
EL AL’s management announced today (Sunday) six flight cancelations to and from Europe after three of the airline’s flights were canceled yesterday. The airline is blaming its pilots, claiming that the flights were canceled “due to the pilots’ unwillingness to man the flights.”
The Israel Airport Authority Workers’ Committee addressed the worsening crisis saying that if EL AL’s management does not bring an end to the crisis within 24 hours, Ben Gurion International Airport employees will no longer provide service to the airline. “We do not intend to intervene in EL AL’s conflict,” the Israel Airport Authority Workers’ Committee stated. “However, it is unreasonable that the airport employees will be forced to deal with infuriated travelers while all of their frustration is being taken out on the Airport Authority employees, even as far as raising their hands towards employees.”
“We apologize to all of the clients for the inconvenience and we are doing everything in our power to minimize the damage,” said EL AL’s Human Resources VP Shlomi Am-Shalom. “This is a localized conflict of 40 pilots aged 65 and above and it cannot be that every time there are misunderstandings in negotiations, the travelers become hostages.”
As a result of the conflict, EL AL turned to the Israeli Labor Court requesting that it order the pilots to immediately return to their normal work. However, EL AL’s pilot committee feels differently. “EL AL’s management brutally cut 70% of the 65-year-old pilots’ wages, contrary to agreements and in the midst of negotiations,” the committee stated. “In such a situation, the management cannot believe that a pilot who was not scheduled to fly will leave everything in order to fly a non-scheduled ‘special flight’ and cover for management failures that are ruining EL AL.”
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