Airports Authority to Hire Temporary Workers to Battle Airport Delays

Israel Airports Authority to recruit 54 workers, in response to baggage handlers' strike which caused severe delays.

The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) promised on Monday to recruit 54 temporary baggage handlers to tackle the manpower shortage at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Following the IAA announcement, baggage handlers decided Monday to end the disruptions they had begun the day before, in protest of a shortage of workers to handle the loading and offloading of baggage, which caused up to three-hour departure delays.

31 workers have been recruited to date, and an additional 23 are to follow in order to tackle high levels of passenger traffic during the summer season and the holidays.

Meanwhile, the Israel Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) went on strike Monday. The workers are protesting the allegedly unilateral implementation of a restructuring scheme. The ICAA will not issue new permits for charter flights. A request by Bulgarian Air Charter to operate an additional flight to Israel was denied Sunday, affecting 160 passengers. Flights that have already been authorized will not be affected.

Transport Ministry Director-General Gideon Siterman said that the Histadrut labor federation's demand to recruit the new workers under a collective bargaining agreement is unfeasible.