Following a labor dispute and a 19-hour negotiation session, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd.'s (TASE: ELAL) signed an agreement with the company's maintenance workers. The dispute reached its peak last week with a demonstration by El Al's workers upon the arrival of the first of the (Boeing) Dreamliners ordered by El Al. The maintenance workers were seeking to safeguard their jobs as El Al institutes cost-cutting measures.
The maintenance workers' committee called the agreement "a historic day by any criterion." The agreement increases the workers' salaries and improves their pensions and related allowances for the first time at El Al, according to the committee's representatives, with the maintenance division being paid separately under the sector agreement.
The agreement includes a 5% increase in all salary elements, including the pension contribution, for all maintenance workers. 3% of the increase will be effective immediately, with two later 1% increases.
Another clause in the agreement benefits veteran workers who have been appointed to supervisory or management positions. Up until now, these workers' salary grades were lowered after several consecutive years in their positions. In addition, temporary workers receiving tenure will be paid a NIS 3,000 bonus.
One important clause eliminates Friday night shifts for hangar and workshop workers. These shifts will be replaced by a new shift on Friday morning, paid according to the rate for Saturday morning. The work hours for other items were also revised.
"We call on everyone to return to work with full vigor, great pride, and with heads held high, and to be proud of who and what you are. Our El Al is in one of the most challenging periods in its history, with the replacement of the air fleet at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, the upgrading of systems, and investment in equipment and procurement on an unprecedented scale. We all need to buckle down and prove to the entire world and the company's management that investment in the maintenance workers is a worthwhile investment - a safe investment that will pay off quickly and generate a profit for the company. In order to do that, we must quickly be who we are and what we were and will always be," the maintenance workers' committee said.
El Al can now devote its full attention to the dispute with its stewards, 120 of whom have filed a lawsuit against the company concerning their pay, plus another interesting dispute with the company's pilots following the new regulations on flight procedures.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 29, 2017
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