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Hundreds of Israel Airports Authority employees protested yesterday afternoon opposite the organization's headquarters after declaring a general strike at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

The strike quickly ended as the Histadrut labor federation intervened and called to renew negotiations between workers and management officials.

Histadrut chief Ofer Eini broke into in the ongoing dispute, after management threatened to call for a decree forcing the employees back to work. This is the second time in a week workers called a strike, with both sides still blaming each other for their failure to reach an agreement. A week ago, airport employees returned to their regular work through the intervention of the Tel Aviv Labor Court, after delays in service caused disruptions in air traffic.

Management officials said the talks had failed due to employees' wage demands. The employees' committee, however, said management reneged on wage agreements reached last week, and particularly over the employment of some 800 contracted airport workers as regular employees.

Flights throughout the night were expected to be disrupted as the return to work was gradually carried out.

Kobi Zussman, chair of the Israel branch of the International Air Transport Association, called for both parties to reach an agreement as soon as possible, urging them "not to wage this struggle on the backs of passengers and airlines. The airline industry is already in bad shape, and such incidents only hurt it more."