Israir pilots announce labor dispute with management

C'tee representing budget airline's pilots declares plan to lay-off 10% of pilots, alter work arrangements a red-line that should not be crossed.

Ben Gurion 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Ben Gurion 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
With less than a month remaining in the current year, and in spite of the increase number of annual tourist visits, yet another incident may yet shape up to help make 2010 a year of extra hassles and annoyances for some more Israeli and Israel-bound air travelers.
A workers' committee representing Israir pilots on Saturday announced an ongoing labor dispute with the company's management in reaction to Israir's management's intention to fire more than 10 percent of the budget airline's pilots and to lower working conditions for dozens of other pilots at the company, according to a statement released by their spokesperson.
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Israir's pilots, represented by the New Histadrut's Transportation Workers Union, have accused the company's management of violating both the terms of their contracts as well a tradition of employer-employee goodwill at Israir.
"The pilots of Israir have always been loyal partners [with the company's management]. We have always known when to bend in favor of assisting the company in reaching its goal and to move it forward," the pilots' committee said in a statement.
They continued, "We are the first to be conscious of the need for a company efficiency plan. There is no need to tell us stories. However, we will not lend our hands to steps that endanger the future existence of the company.  We will not agree to pay with our heads for failures we had no part in."

The pilots for good measure also seemed to make a veiled threat of potential labor disturbances should their Israir management sidestep seriously responding to their complaints.
"Israir will make a turnaround into a successful and profitable company if she is managed professionally and seriously. Arbitrary layoffs, coercive measures and paralyzing battles are not the way," they added.
It remains to be seen how the current labor disagreement at Israir will affect travelers in Israel.