The Histadrut labor federation on Monday paved the way for an airlines strike, declaring a labor dispute at El Al, Arkia and Israir less than 24 hours after a seaport workers’ strike ended.
The Histadrut said the declaration was made in response to the decision by the Transport Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority to sign an “Open Skies” agreement with the European Union. Such an agreement would allow any European airline to land in Israel from anywhere within the 27 EU member countries at any time. But the labor federation claimed neither party consulted with airline employees before agreeing to the deal.This latest declaration follows a string of Histadrut-endorsed strikes which business groups estimate have cost the economy hundreds of millions of shekels. Workers at the Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat Seaports held a one-day strike over pension related demands Sunday. Railway workers walked off the job for two days on Feb. 13-14 to protest management’s use of outside contractors. A general strike was held Feb. 8-12 over the employment status of contract workers in the public and private sectors.