Histadrut Emergency Intervention Ends El Al Crisis

YERUSHALAYIM -
(Moshe Shai/Flash90)
(Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Intervention by the Histadrut labor federation brought to an end the protracted and damaging dispute between El Al Airlines and its pilots on Sunday evening after marathon negotiations that began on Motzoei Shabbos.

Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn convened an emergency meeting that lasted 21 hours before an agreement was finally signed.

“During all the negotiations I had before me the image of the El Al passengers, who deserve a strong, stable, national carrier,” Nissenkorn said, according to a spokesman.

Cancellation of an El Al flight to New York was narrowly averted on Thursday night, while three other flights were chartered by El Al with foreign carriers. Nissenkorn was credited with saving Flight 027 to New York by direct personal intervention.

The settlement contains a revision of understandings reached last week, including a salary hike of 8.75 percent for the pilots – better than the 7.4 they had last week. However, the pilots conceded to streamlining measures, such as shortening their stays abroad, according to Globes.

The pilots agreed to cease their no-shows, and El Al promised to stop use of leased flights, which the pilots had objected to.

Pilots had been refusing to report for duty unless they were allowed to fly in only one direction, while being paid by El Al to make the return leg as business class passengers. Passengers sought other airlines for their trips as flights were cancelled again and again, while the two sides engaged in mutual recriminations.

A settlement had been reported imminent twice before last week but then fell through. However, this time it appeared that the deal would stick.


Updated Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm