In the wake of the widespread outrage over the politically motivated strike at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday, Pinchas Idan, the head of the workers’ union at the Israel Airports Authority, admitted to Kan News on Tuesday evening that the strike was illegal.
“I had to respect the chairman of the Histadrut,” he said, adding: “If I had known it would last a long time, I would have limited it to an hour and a half. I understood that it would last for an hour, an hour and a half. We were waiting for the prime minister’s press conference, which didn’t take place [until much later that night].”
Idan called to all the passengers affected by the strike: “Go to court, file a lawsuit against me and the Histadrut and I’ll comply with whatever the court decides.”
He added: “I called a strike because the chairman of the Histadrut requested it. The Histadrut is above us. If I say that the strike was legal, I’ll be lying. If he ordered it, he apparently checked into it. I received instructions and I can’t refuse them. I’m in favor of the reform.”
Meanwhile, Likud MK Boaz Bizmut is leading an initiative to dismiss Idan, a veteran member of Likud, from the party.
“We are preparing to submit a petition to the Likud court with the aim of terminating the membership of Pinchas Idan who announced an illegal political strike – that caused a financial loss to many Israelis – and sought to sabotage the advancement of necessary reform to the justice system,” Bismut stated in the petition.
“We invite all Likud members to add their names to the petition and send an unequivocal message to anyone who tries to use Likud to promote foreign interests rather than nationalist values. Join us. Together we’ll stop the bullying and strengthen the Likud!”
So far, only four Likud members signed the petition, apparently due to the fact that Idan is one of the most powerful figures in the Likud who polls thousands of votes and has a major influence on Likud list positions.
Idan told Ynet regarding the Likud petition: “With all due respect [to those who signed it], who are they anyway? I was in Likud even before they were born.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)