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News ID: 840
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 9:12 - 20 April 2013
TEHRAN, YJC. -- Workers at Israel's three main airline carriers threatened on Friday to launch an open-ended strike in protest at the government's plans to ratify an open skies deal with Europe they see as a threat to their jobs.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid is to meet Transport Minister Yisrael Katz on ways to avert a strike, including the possibility of delaying a vote on deal long sought as a means of reducing travel costs and boosting tourism.

Israeli media reported Finance Minister Yair Lapid is to meet Transport Minister Yisrael Katz on ways to avert a strike, including the possibility of delaying a vote on deal long sought as a means of reducing travel costs and boosting tourism.

A statement from the head of the airline workers' branch of the Histadrut Labour Federation said the planned strike starting on Sunday was to save thousands of jobs it said were at risk if Israeli airlines had to compete with more European carriers.

Transport Minister Katz urged the unions at El Al, Arkia and Israir to call off the strike and accept the deal which is being discussed with European Union countries that has been in the works for the past three years.

Katz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, told Israel Radio a free skies agreement "would significantly lower the prices of airline tickets to Israel, do well by Israeli citizens, and attract many tourists" to the country.

"Such deals contain risks as well as benefits and the companies ought to exploit the opportunity" to compete more vigorously with European airlines which could also open the door to Israeli airlines landing in hundreds more cities, Katz said.

Israeli Media
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