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El Al Faces General Strike

El Al, Israel’s national airline, faced a general strike tonight that could result in its shut-down and reorganization. The latest crisis for the money-losing carrier erupted when dismissal notices were sent to six members of the maintenance workers committee who had called a four-hour work stoppage yesterday.

Histadrut leaders and El Al top management were closeted in discussions today of how to avert a strike. The labor federation apparently wants the dismissal notices cancelled. The airline’s board chairman, Avraham Shavit, said he was “optimistic” that a solution would be found. But he charged that the company’s operations were being disrupted by a group of “hot-headed extremists.” The maintenance workers called their stoppage yesterday on grounds that the government failed to provide the funds it had promised to tide the airline over its financial difficulties.