El Al Efficiency Drive Targets Working Mothers Who Want to Leave Early

CEO Haim Romano spearheading cuts across the board as airline flies into red ink

Anxious to cut costs, El Al (TASE: ELAL) is targeting working mothers on its staff.

The airline warned last week that its financial results will be bad this year, because of soaring fuel prices and fierce competition. It fears it will finished fiscal year 2006 with a loss.

TheMarker learned yesterday that the company's management has decided to let working mothers leave home at 1:00 P.M. during the summer subject to receiving their superiors' approval. But the time will be counted as vacation.

In addition, all workers will be forced to take vacation from August 20 to 31.

Another plan is to cut unprofitable routes.

According to a plan being formulated by CEO Haim Romano, expenses will be cut across the board, including fees paid for airplane transit and various rental fees.

Managers have been asked to examine every expense item for possible cuts.

"As part of the steps taken to improve results, El Al has approved the request of working mothers, and decided to allow those who wish to leave early during the summer vacation to do so," the company said. "This is a completely voluntary move that does not include any worker who does not want to."

El Al also said that they view the mutual decision as a healthy and normal part of relations between workers and management.

Pilots, crew to get more for long haul

Despite the cutbacks, pilots and flight crew on long-haul flights to the united states will receive a special pay increase to compensate them for shorter stays at their destinations, TheMarker has learned.

The additional payments were agreed upon as part of two new wage pacts signed last week between the pilots, stewards, management and the Histadrut Labor Federation.

The agreements will take effect retroactively from the beginning of July, and will become part of new collective wage agreements expected to be signed later this week between El Al and the Histadrut.

As part of the accords, employees will give up any new wage increase demands until the end of 2007.