El Al must present four signed agreements with the various sectors of its employees on the way to obtaining approval from the Ministry of Finance for the state guarantee in favor of a loan, as part of the outline of assistance to the company. With three sectors, El Al signed, while with the pilots sector, which is the most challenging for it, an agreement has not matured and therefore, in a move that takes place but rarely, the Histadrut has signed in their place. El Al warned on the eve of the signing that if such an agreement was not signed, it would freeze proceedings. The parties did not reach agreements and the agreement was signed without the presence of the pilots.
The strained relations between the management and the pilots reached a peak with the signing of the agreement, as stated. Even before that, El Al had stopped all its commercial activities (except for cargo flights that are carried out on chartered aircraft) with a fear of disruption on the part of the pilots in the background.
The hearing conducted by Judge Dori Spivak, the vice president, was postponed from last week at the request of EL AL and with the consent of the pilots, and it did not yield a decision. Another hearing will be held on Thursday. Until then, the judge will read the positions of the parties and decide whether there is any point in holding a legal hearing or rejecting the case outright, ie leaving the agreement intact. These are the positions of the pilots’ committee, the Histadrut and El Al.
The judge hoped that the parties could reach a compromise and even reach an agreement on some of the disputed clauses “on the assumption that there is a clear interest of the parties to avoid a judicial decision and reach an understanding quickly,” but this proposal did not succeed. The pilots can take comfort in the fact that the judge has not yet decided to dismiss the lawsuit they filed outright. Judge Spivak further said at the hearing, and quite rightly, that an employment agreement signed over the heads of employees and without their consent would not benefit the company and its customers, expressing his hope that the flights would return soon. This hope is also justified as all 45 El Al planes are on the ground.
Meanwhile, after warning again last week that EL AL was on the verge of freezing proceedings, EL AL renewed its insurance policy for its officers (members of the board of directors) after receiving a letter of approval from the Ministry of Finance for a state-guaranteed loan. In a letter, the Treasury encourages El Al to complete the preparations for the IPO by the end of August, and in return, for every step it takes, El Al will receive a permit to withdraw additional funds from the compensation fund up to a total of NIS 230 million.