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Airport Delays Expected As Workers Set to Strike Sunday

Download: Printable PDF Date: 30 Aug 2015 07:16 (UTC) category:
Airport Delays Expected As Workers Set to Strike Sunday - Airports / Routes publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Source: WCARN

Airport workers will strike Sunday morning in solidarity with Israel Broadcast Authority employees, shutting down operations for two hours, the union said Saturday.

Ben Gurion International Airport's management said they'd attempt to appeal to the Labor Court to prevent the strike, which was expected to cause massive delays for many of the 70,000 passengers expected to pass through Israel's main gateway.

As a result of the impending strike, El Al pushed forward and delayed several flights to prevent them from coinciding with tomorrow's strike between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., Channel 2 reported.

Travelers were advised to stay updated concerning flight delays.

Port workers in Ashdod and Haifa were also set to strike Sunday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., along with workers at the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing, Israel Radio reported.

The labor action comes in solidarity with workers from the state's Israel Broadcasting Authority. The Knesset was scheduled to debate Sunday an amendment to the law governing public broadcasting, which includes massive layoffs to the IBA. IBA workers held a weekend sit-in at the organization's headquarters in Jerusalem to protest the proposed cutbacks.

Last year, the Knesset approved legislation to abolish the IBA and replace it with a new public entity.

The bill's sponsor, then-communications minister Gilad Erdan, explained at the time that the need for the change stemmed from the broadcast authority becoming increasingly unnecessary. Erdan said a new public entity would save money and do away with the unpopular television tax.

The IBA was established in 1948 and held a monopoly on TV and radio broadcasting in Israel until the 1990s.

Since 1965, any Israeli household with a television set -- whether used for cable, satellite or solely for watching videos -- was obligated to pay an annual television tax which helped fund the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Today, the tax stands at NIS 345 per year (US$100). The IBA strictly enforced this rule, ignoring pleas from TV owners who did not use IBA's services or were not connected to any television service whatsoever.

IBA workers were set to attend Sunday's Knesset session, as part of a last-ditch bid to thwart the large-scale layoffs and overhaul of the IBA long planned by the government.

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