Employees of El Al are threatening labor sanctions, up to and including the disruption of flights, unless the airline's board of directors gives its approval today to a new contract recently signed by management and the Histadrut Labor Federation.

Union representatives are also refusing to enter into accelerated negotiations with management over the implementation of a recovery program for El Al until the new work agreement, which runs until the end of 2007, is approved. This refusal comes despite a memorandum of understanding attached to the contract that mandates such negotiations, as well as a freeze on salaries and benefits at their current levels.

According to the terms of the new labor contract, if El Al's 2006 profits exceed $10 million, workers will receive a 3 percent salary bonus. However, the chances of this happening are slim: The airline is likely to end the year in the red, and it has issued a profit warning to this effect.

El Al's management issued the following response yesterday to reports of the threat of labor sanctions: "There has been no such thing."