El Al two-day strike ends

By Zoe Winograd, April 23, 2013

Israeli airlines workers have ended their two day strike after the government agreed a subsidy package to safeguard jobs.

Planes were grounded from Sunday until late Monday night as Israeli airlines El Al, Irair and Arkia staged a strike in protest at the government’s new open - skies scheme designed to encourage more European airlines to fly to Israel. Unions feared that jobs would be lost with the increased competition.

But the Israeli government has agreed to finance 97.5 per cent of Israeli airlines’ security costs - an increase of 27.5 per cent on what it already pays. El Al paid $33 million for security in 2012.

An official from the Histadrut, Israel’s labour federation, commented: "Too bad it took two days of strike and damage to hundreds of thousands of citizens to reach an agreement that could have been done last Friday."

Nearly 50 El Al flights from Tel Aviv were cancelled on Monday, affecting some 15,000 passengers.

Last updated: 1:21pm, April 23 2013