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Strike All but Cripples Israel, but El Al, Post Office Operate

December 10, 1993
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 24-hour general strike announced by the Histadrut trade union federation went on Thursday as planned, all but crippling the country.

Nearly 100,000 workers were affected.

Nevertheless, operations continued almost normally at Ben-Gurion Airport and at El Al services, and postal workers did not walk out after they were issued strike restraining orders by the courts.

El Al, anticipating problems, had advanced departure times of 11 flights scheduled to take off after 7 a.m., the time the work stoppage was called for. Thereafter, a more or less normal schedule was adhered to by El Al Airline workers.

Meanwhile, the airline’s planned inaugural flight to Bombay and Bangkok, due to take off just before midnight, was being prepared for takeoff as planned. In fact, in view of an overwhelming demand for the flight, the Israeli airline added two aircraft to the route.

But the strike took its predictable toll at 30 of 32 large government-owned manufacturing and service enterprises.

The usual broadcast blackouts also went ahead as preplanned.

Israel Radio began its usual morning service at 7 a.m. but went silent an hour later in the middle of a sentence.

From then on, the only broadcasts heard were brief news summaries aired hourly by Israel Radio’s main channel. All other channels remained silent throughout the day.

The army radio station was not affected by the work stoppage.

But its program was entirely devoted to a 30-hour fund raiser for soldiers welfare.

Business and services idled by the strike included the ports and domestic airports, railroads, Bezek telephone services, Israel Aircraft Industries and Israel Military Industries.

Also on strike were the employees of the Rafael Weapons Development Authority, the Electric Corp., the Mekorot Water Co., Israel Chemicals, the Haifa Oil Refineries, Dead Sea Works, Israel Shipyards and the nuclear plants at Dimona and Nahal Sorek.

The striking employees what they deem a lack of safeguards for their futures under privatization plans announced by the government.

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