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El Al Pilots Reject Agreement; Company Charters Foreign Airplanes

The Crew Committee of the El Al Israel Airlines, whose dispute with the company caused the grounding of all El Al planes last Thursday, turned down a mediation agreement today, and the grounding of the aircraft continued in force.

The agreement had been reached last night between the trade union department of Histadrut, the Israel Federation of Labor, and the company Under the agreement, air crews were to work no more than ten hours of flight time within 15 hours on duty. However, the Crew Committee rejected the pact, insisting on a maximum of eight hours of flight time. Foreign planes chartered by El Al continued today to run scheduled flights for El Al.

Queried on why the company had found it necessary to ground the entire fleet in view of the fact that there was no disagreement over the operation of all of the other up-to-eight-hour flights, the El Al management retorted that it was impossible to run an airline which had its operational policies dictated to it by the air crews.

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