El Al Strike Continues; Israeli Professionals Want Higher Wages

The Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation, rejected today demands of striking crews of El Al Airlines that all planes be grounded as a condition for an end to the walkout. The crewmen walked out of negotiations for a new contract at midnight Tuesday. The El Al management meanwhile made arrangements to transfer passengers booked for El Al flights through an improvised schedule with the help of foreign airlines.

Treasury officials were understood to view the strike with gravity, and some were quoted as saying the walkout might bring about the breakdown of Israel’s national airline.

As the El Al crisis deepened, new wage troubles were building up for Israel’s economic managers. Engineers and other professionals on salaried Jobs in government and other non-governmental organizations demanded “wage adjustments.” Salary agreements with such professionals expire March 31. They have indicated they will seek payment of higher cost-of-living allowances and an increase in other allowances in view of Israel’s devaluation a year ago.

Academic staffs of universities and the Haifa Institute of Technology, members of the Medical Association, the secondary school teachers and the Chemical Association all are Joining in presenting demands which, they contend, do not conflict with the Government’s decision to hold the line on salaries this year.

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