Civilian Air Traffic in Israel Halted for Four Hours by Strike

Civilian air traffic was halted for four hours this morning as employes of the Civil Aviation Authority struck against the Transport Ministry which they charged was not carrying out clauses of their contract. Heated negotiations went on all night in a futile attempt to avert the walk-out which began at 6 a.m. local time and ended at ten. There was no information as to whether the workers’ complaints had been satisfied. Meanwhile, flights scheduled to take off during the early morning hours were postponed. Israel bound planes were halted at Rome, Athens and Nicosia. Planes arriving during the walk-out landed safely but porters refused to unload passengers’ baggage. In some cases the passengers stormed the aircraft to get their luggage. The striking workers made an exception for two planes arriving with new immigrants. One of them brought more immigrants from Soviet Russia, among them families from Riga, Wilna, Odessa and the Georgian Republic and one family from Warsaw. The newcomers confirmed reports that Soviet authorities planned to charge Jewish emigrants with academic degrees a heavy sum to pay for the free education they received in the USSR. According to the new arrivals, holders of degrees would be charged about $1,100 for each year of study at a Soviet institution of higher learning. The plan has not been implemented to date.

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