Israeli aviation strikes win better deal for workers

May 9, 2013

Strikes by Israeli aviation workers protesting against government plans to sign an ‘open skies’ agreement with the EU led the finance ministry to accept the demands of ITF affiliate the Transport Workers' Union of Histadrut and finance 97.5 per cent of Israeli airline companies’ security costs.

The union claimed that these extra resources would enable civil aviation workers to receive fair, competitive conditions.

The government announcement on 22 April followed two days of strikes which halted all El Al, Arkia and Israir airlines’ outgoing flights. As a result, a planned strike on 23 April by Israel Airports Authority workers was cancelled.
Ofer Eini, Histadrut chair, commented:  "At the end of the crisis the government regained its composure and realized that the employees’ demand to allow companies to survive and get fair competitive conditions constitutes a national interest. Too bad we had to reach a strike and demonstrations and thousands of families being anxious to reach an agreement that we could have reached in substantive negotiations."

ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho added: “Without a shadow of doubt this was a very successful strike. However, Israeli aviation workers and their union would prefer to reach a solution without taking industrial action.

“Histadrut is not opposed to competition, but like the ITF civil aviation section it is in favour of equal and fair competition. To protect their members’ jobs is their duty and this is what Histadrut did.”

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