TEL AVIV (Jul. 18)
The end of the strike of air crews of El Al Israel National Airlines was not in sight today despite a strong warning to the strikers by the Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, calling on the crews to return to work. The Histadrut statement warned that if the air crews failed to return to work the labor federation would assist the Government in operating the airline.
The Ministry of Transport, meanwhile, was preparing special regulations to force air crews still in New York and London to bring the grounded planes back to Israel.
Ephraim Ben-Artzi, El Al’s managing director, told the press today that while the management was prepared to meet almost all of the 11 demands of the strikers, which include increased paid vacation and free trips for children of personnel, he could not agree to the demand of wage increases which, he said, was “fantastic in Israel’s present reality.
Those of the strikers who were former members of kibbutzim said here that if no solution to the situation was found they would return to their settlements and their former agricultural work.
The company, meanwhile, has drawn up an emergency timetable which is operated by planes of foreign companies. El Al continues to accept bookings in the hope that the strike would end soon. No passenger has been left stranded in Israel or outside of Israel, Mr. Ben-Artzi declared.