Airport Employees May Continue to Strike Despite Decision to Temporarily Resume Work

J'lem Labor Court to discuss appeal by Israel Airports Authority Saturday night, determine fate of strike.

Temporary employees at Ben Gurion International airport may resume their strike despite a decision made on Friday to abide to a National Labor Court instruction calling them to halt their four day strike ahead of a Labor Court hearing slated for Saturday.

On Friday, the temporary employees announced they would come back to work until 19:00 on Saturday, when the hearing was to take place.

On Saturday evening the court will discuss an appeal presented on Friday by the Israel Airports Authority against its staff.

The appeal follows the Tel Aviv court's decision to cancel the temporary restraining order issued against the temporary workers and the union. The decision has allowed the worker's strike to continue.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz has announced that he intends to intervene to put an end to the conflict between the parties.

The strike at Ben Gurion Airport entered its third day on Friday, as workers continued to protest despite an injunction issued by the Tel Aviv District Labor Court ordering them to resume working.

Passengers have been waiting up to nine hours to receive luggage after arriving in Israel, and departures are experiencing long delays as well.

Many passengers spent Thursday night at Ben-Gurion International Airport, waiting for a workers' strike to end and flights to resume.

The strike worsened Thursday afternoon, when airport employees ceased loading luggage onto planes. At approximately 2:30 P.M., the airport's central luggage conveyer belt was turned off.

Some planes departed without passengers' luggage, and dozens of arriving planes were stuck while waiting to have their cargo unloaded.

The strike began on Wednesday to protest plans to lay off 120 temporary airport employees. Roughly 500 temporary workers participated in the strike, despite a back-to-work order.

Israel Airports Authority is calling for passengers that left Ben Gurion Airport without taking their luggage to return and receive their luggage. Information on luggage, arrivals, and departures can be reached by calling 03-975-5555, the airport's information hotline.