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Court refuses to step into El Al work dispute; more flights face cancellation

Judges at Tel Aviv Labor Court won’t force pilots to work as they protest salaries, tell both sides to continue talks

Illustrative. El Al planes are parked at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit/ File)
Illustrative. El Al planes are parked at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit/ File)

Dozens of El Al flights are at risk of cancellation next week after a Tel Aviv court on Friday refused to intervene in an ongoing work dispute between the Israeli carrier and its pilots.

The dispute stems from disagreements regarding pilots’ work conditions, which have led to near-daily cancellations.

The pilots demand that their salaries return to their pre-COVID levels in accordance with a previous agreement in 2017.

El Al had asked the Tel Aviv Labor Court to file injunction orders against the pilots and force them to come to work.

The court refused to do so, telling both sides to return to negotiations but also urging them to maintain a regular flight schedule.

Travelers wait in line in the departure hall at Ben Gurion Airport on May 30, 2022. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

The dispute, which has been ongoing for several months now, led to the airliner pulling out of the traditional Independence Flyover last month.

In a statement, the company said the court had agreed to hear the request for injunctions again if the dialogue does not succeed.

“The company hopes this intensive dialogue will lead to agreements between the parties for the benefit of the company’s employees and customers and calls on the pilots’ union to engage with a sincere and genuine desire to achieve these goals.”

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