Ben Gurion Airport staff call off weekend strike
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Ben Gurion Airport staff call off weekend strike

Negotiations with employees will continue, but disruption avoided for 30,000 passengers on 200 flights

Illustrative: Travelers standing in line at the departure terminal of Ben Gurion International Airport (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Illustrative: Travelers standing in line at the departure terminal of Ben Gurion International Airport (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Staff at Ben Gurion Airport called off their threatened strike action on Thursday, after reporting progress in negotiations with management over the employment of contract workers at Israel’s main international airfield.

Workers had planned to shut down outbound services at the airport for 24 hours, potentially forcing hundreds of flights departing on Saturday to be rescheduled.

Intensive negotiations are to continue Sunday, but in the meantime the airport will continue to operate as usual.

When announcing the strike earlier Thursday, the workers union had threatened that only emergency staff would be working over Friday night and Saturday. Arrivals would take place as scheduled, Channel 10 reported.

The union strike would have affected 30,000 passengers on 200 flights departing on Friday and Saturday over the course of Shabbat — the Jewish day of rest — while the walkout lasted.

The workers were riled into protest over a deadlock in negotiations between the union and management over limiting contract workers at the airport.

The ultra-Orthodox press had praised the decision to coincide the strike with the Jewish Sabbath, which takes place between sundown Friday and nightfall Saturday, during which labor is prohibited according to Jewish law.

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