ben gurion airport298 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ben Gurion Airport employees decided to unload luggage from all of the
airplanes that landed on Monday despite continuing a general strike.
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In addition, airplanes that were scheduled to fly to Uman in Ukraine to
bring back Bresalv Hassidim pilgrims will be allowed to depart.
The sides are continuing to negotiate in the hopes of reaching a deal on
the issue of the workers' pensions.
Negotiations between representatives of Ben Gurion Airport employees and
management failed earlier on Monday and the airport workers announced a general
strike, effective immediately.
Authority workers are requesting that management give them assurances
that money saved for their pension funds will not be used for any other
Hundreds of Breslav Hassidim returning to Israel from Ukraine caused
upheaval at the airport when they could not get their luggage
because of the strike .
The Hassidim, returning from a pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nahman of Breslav in the Ukranian city of Uman, yelled, played drums and sang. Some of them caused damage to the baggage claim conveyor belt.
Police were called to the scene, but no arrests were reported.
The airport employees originally planned to strike on Thursday
, but were persuaded by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz not to strike in order to prevent the delay of Israelis coming home for Rosh Hashana.
Negotiations between the two sides began on Sunday and continued on
Monday morning. The talks stalled at approximately 9 a.m., and the
workers immediately began their strike.
Airplanes en route to Israel will be allowed to land at the airport, but
baggage will not be unloaded from the planes while the strike
continues. No planes will depart Ben Gurion Airport during the work
Ben Gurion Employees' Committee chairman Pinchas Edan on Monday stated
that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the only one capable of
solving the problem, Israel Radio reported.
“We will not stand by and see workers’ money put at risk," Edan said
prior to the strike. "We have been trying to reach an agreement for two
years, but the authority’s management keeps on dragging its feet and
jeopardizing the workers’ pension funds,” he added.
“We demand that the issue of the pensions be resolved and that their
money be protected and earmarked exclusively for the purpose of pension
payments and will do everything in our power to assure it."
Ron Friedman contributed to this