Israeli unionists launched a countrywide labor strike Wednesday, though flights at Ben Gurion Airport were not immediately affected.
Labor leaders from the Histadrut are still threatening to include the nation’s main airport in the massive strike, and Finance Ministry representatives were slated to meet with them Wednesday evening to avert a 24-hour airport shutdown.
The strike, which is expected to cost Israel’s economy more than $200 million per day, has shut down government offices, the postal service, trains, some hospitals, ports and the Bank of Israel. Labor leaders are demanding a 10 percent wage hike for public-sector workers, which would cost Israel an additional $2.5 billion or so per year. The Finance Ministry has offered a 1 percent wage raise.
In anticipation of a possible airport closure, the Israel Airports Authority moved up scheduled landings and departures to get flights in and out before a strike takes effect.