El Al Workers Vote Call Official Labor Dispute

Eighty percent support sanctions over management's attempt to abolish collective agreement, say union figures

El Al employees overwhelmingly voted for a fight with management: 80% of all the workers voted yea for declaring an official labor dispute at the airline.

The workers are protesting management's attempt to cancel the collective employment agreement.

The figures show that well over the 70% of the 6,000 workers required to vote in favor did so, according to internal union estimates TheMarker obtained.
The workers' representatives are now allowed to petition the Histadrut labor federation for the declaration of an official labor dispute; and after the announcement and a two-week cooling off period the union can start sanctions against the airline.

The union has decided to continue voting for another week, even though the necessary number of workers has already voted, in order to reach at least 90 percent approval. Almost 100 percent of the pilots, technicians and ground workers have voted; but many of the 1,100 stewards' votes have been delayed since many of them spend prolonged periods overseas and have been unable to vote in Israel.

The voting procedure requires sealed and signed ballots to be officially certified - and the union does not want to allow management the slightest opportunity for challenging the vote.