El Al Agreement Runs Into Early Trouble

YERUSHALAYIM -
El Al planes at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Just over a month after El Al management and pilots reached agreement to put an end to months of acrimony that threatened to destabilize the airline, a fresh labor dispute has cropped up, Globes reported on Sunday.

The Pilots Committee effectively put the airlines and the public on notice of renewed turbulence on Sunday morning, warning that “from next week a shortfall of licensed El Al pilots is expected due to a decision by the company to cut one third of pilot and simulator instructors.”

The pilots accused the airline of torpedoing the hard-fought agreement. “In an exceptional step, while discussions are taking place to arrange terms of employment, El Al’s management has decided to put one third of pilot and simulator instructors on forced leave. We are talking about pilot and simulator instructors over the age of 65 who are the company’s most senior and experienced pilots. Management has decided that the salaries of these pilots will be reduced by tens of percentages from next month. The result of El Al management’s step will be growing harm to the number of pilots with a valid license at the service of the company in implementing its full schedule.”

In early December an agreement was signed which provided an 8.75 percent pay increase, while pilots agreed to streamlining measures. That agreement ended nearly a month of flight cancellations and disruptions.