[UPDATES IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
Flights are being delayed as workers in Ben-Gurion International Airport launched a wildcat strike during the busiest period of the year. At tens of thousands of yomtov travelers are making their way to Uman, 770 and other destinations, employees at the nation’s airport decided to launch a job action.
They are taking part in an on/off strike, working for 30 minutes and then stopping for 30 minutes, which is resulting in flight delays and a difficult situation as so many travelers are in the airport and many more planning to head out in the coming hours.
At the heart of the job action is the same old issue, pension fund demands, and now, it appears workers are trying to use the leverage of the upcoming yomim tovim to push their point down the throats of Finance Ministry officials.
At 17:00 IL, Airport Authority officials reported ten flights were already delayed and a situation room has been opened and officials are doing everything possible to get workers to resume normal airport operations.
One traveler scheduled to leave the airport on a Lufthansa flight is quoted by Globes as saying the flight “was delayed indefinitely”. The airline has confirmed flights to Frankfurt are now on hold.
UPDATE 19:00 IL: The workers’ union has permitted 15 delayed flights to take off. That said, luggage handlers are still striking and this is causing much anguish for arriving passengers.
Striking workers have not given up the effort and flights scheduled for departure later on Tuesday night are being delayed indefinitely. Due to the large number of outgoing passengers in the airport, there is much confusion and the situation is deteriorating rapidly.
Mispallalim heading to Uman fear the delays may result in their not making it to R’ Nachman’s tziyun in time for yomtov, realizing there are a limited number of flights and time is working against them.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)