TEL AVIV – A group of El Al pilots informed the airline of a strike on Monday following a labor dispute, resulting in multiple flight cancellations, Ynet News reported.
On Sunday night the pilots informed El Al’s management that they would not come to work on Monday. The strike has caused a disruption in flight schedules, with several flights already cancelled including New York, Brussels, Beijing and Barcelona.
El Al maintains that the strike is in violation of the labor agreement that was signed by the pilots. A source in El Al’s management said that the company is considering turning to the Labor Court to settle the issue.
El Al said in a statement:
“Despite the labor agreement signed with the employees, including with the pilots, the pilots are striking and not meeting the tasks assigned to them by the company, against common practice. As a result, there are disruptions to flights. The company’s management has made every effort to prevent hurting the passengers, however, it had to make changes today to the flights to Barcelona, New York and Brussels because the pilots had not come to work as was agreed upon.”
“The company apologizes for any damages caused to the passengers and is working to find solutions for them. The company calls on the pilots to show up for flights and prevent further damage to the passengers.”
A source in El Al’s management told Ynet that “after the pilots claimed to be sick and didn’t show up for work last time, in this round of flight disruptions the pilots said they cannot fly and the crew said they can’t stay abroad with a delay, so the management was forced to send out two flight crews – one for each direction.”
According to the source, sending two flight crews is a heavy expense for El Al and cannot be maintained.