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Fate of El Al Deferred

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A vote on the fate of El Al was deferred yesterday when the airline’s shareholders decided at a special meeting to continue deliberations next Wednesday. El Al is 98 percent owned by the government. It has been grounded for nearly two months.

Yesterday’s meeting was called to vote on whether to put the company into voluntary liquidation, with possible sale to private interests or to re-organize it on a reduced scale under severe austerity terms proposed by management. Those terms would invest management with sole authority for running the airline with virtually no input from employes.

The week-long suspension of discussions has given both management and labor time to amend or accept the terms. The tension between labor and management was underlined by the strict security that surrounded yesterday’s shareholders meeting. It was imposed to prevent disruption by angry workers groups who broke into management deliberations on two previous occasions. Heavy police guards surrounded the Transport Ministry offices where the meeting was held and elevators skipped the floor where the offices are located.

There will be no Bulletin dated November 25, Thanksgiving Day, a postal holiday.

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