Business Briefs: Court Bars Pilots From Disrupting El Al Flights

Leumi inks new collective wage pact with staff; postal service recovery plan approved; TASE down slightly, but State of Economy index rises 0.3%

Moti Milrod

After El Al flights were disrupted when pilots failed to show up due to ongoing labor disputes, the Tel Aviv district labor court issued a temporary injunction Tuesday instructing the Histadrut labor federation and the representatives of El Al employees to rescind any directives calling for the disruption of El Al flights. The court instructed the labor representative to ensure that there is no further labor unrest and barred any of El Al’s pilots from engaging in any kind of labor sanctions. A senior El Al pilot told TheMarker, however, that the disruptions in the flight schedules in the past were the result of a shortage of senior pilots, particularly on flights using Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft, and warned that the disruptions could continue. (Zohar Blumenkrantz)

Leumi inks new collective wage pact with staff

Bank Leumi signed a four-year collective wage agreement with its staff that will gradually cut the automatic wage increase that employees without a personal contract receive, from 5% a year to 3.5% in 2017, Leumi reported Wednesday. The minimum wage at the bank is being immediately increased by about 15%, to 5,000 shekels ($1,270) per month. Among the other provisions is an increase in employer pension contributions for recent employees, from 5% to 7.5%. Leumi says the new deal will reduce the bank’s liability by a one-time 600 million shekels to 700 million shekels, of which 400 million shekels to 500 million shekels will be reflected in its fourth-quarter financial results. The chairwoman of the bank’s workers committee, Miri Rubino, called the new pact particularly good news for younger employees and those earning minimum wage. (Sivan Aizescu)

Israel postal service recovery plan approved
A recovery plan has been arranged for Israel’s ailing postal service, making it unnecessary to go ahead with an imminent court-ordered transfer to a trustee. The plan is designed to enable Israel Post to stabilize its finances and meet its liabilities, and is to be carried out over four years. As part of the plan, which provides flexibility in employee transfers and cuts the number of jobs to 1,200, at least some post offices will remain open until 8 P.M. three days a week. The plan also foresees growth in the involvement of the postal service in providing financial services and insurance. (Amitai Ziv)

TASE down slightly, but State of Economy index rises 0.3%
Trade on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was generally slightly lower Wednesday. The Tel Aviv-25 index slumped by 0.07%, closing at 1,458.76 points while the broader Tel Aviv-100 index declined by 0.04% to 1,275.17. The Banks-5 index tumbled by 0.4%, led by Bank Leumi, shares of which dropped by 0.3% on the same day that the bank announced a new collective wage pact with its employees. Bank shares in general declined against the backdrop of a warning by the Bank of Israel that cost of housing and faulty bond pricing are continuing to endanger bank stability. On the other hand, the central bank announced Wednesday that its Composite State of the Economy index for December rose by 0.3%. First International Bank of Israel shares bucked the downward trend in the banking sector, rising 1.8%.The Real Estate-15 was down for the day by 0.3%. The Communications index lost 1.2%, led by Bezeq, shares of which declined by 1.5%. (TheMarker)