El Al Workers and Management Agree to Suspend Labor Dispute - for Now

The labor dispute was declared on behalf of El Al workers last week by the Histadrut labor federation.

El Al workers agreed to a hiatus of a week-old labor dispute, after the airline's management promised to suspend planned changes in workers' employment terms. The labor dispute was declared on behalf of El Al workers last week by the Histadrut labor federation, following a series of what it called "unilateral changes" in workers' employment conditions planned by El Al management.

Changes planned under the airline's efficiency program include the size of workers' contribution to the cost of company-sponsored meals, taxation of workers' flight tickets and slashing of vacation pay supplements from NIS 570 to NIS 318 per day. In addition, management had planned to cancel the company's policy of paying an automatic seniority wage increase. Other planned changes included shortening the work week for ground service employees, restructuring work arrangements and flight service teams, and shortening the time-off period for overseas flight attendants.

According to a joint announcement issued yesterday by the Histadrut, El Al's labor union and El Al management, at a meeting held at the offices of Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini with the participation of management and union representatives, management agreed to Eini's call to resume talks with worker representatives, while labor agreed to a hiatus in the declared labor dispute.

The parties have agreed to enter into intensive negotiations to create a joint efficiency plan to benefit both the company and workers, Eini said.

Eini added that both El Al's labor and management should be congratulated on their success and their agreement to act in a responsible manner and get back to the negotiating table.