Ground crew at Israel’s main airport, Ben Gourion Airport in Tel Aviv, have begun an indefinite strike today, grounding all flights scheduled to leave at the peak of the country’s holiday season.
The strikes comes as a backlash after employees pension funds were recently cut. Local unions have said that planes are allowed to land, but there will be no ground staff available to unload luggage, direct traffic, shuttle passengers, etc.
Serious disruptions are expected on all flights heading to Israel today. As of now, all flights scheduled to depart Tel Aviv today have been cancelled until further notice.
The strikes come at the worst possible time. Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar, is just days away.
Airport officials confirm that discussions are under way to coax union workers to return to their jobs and get the thousands of travellers piling up at the airport to their final destinations.
Ben Gourion Airport is the main transit hub for all flights to Israel as it is the only international airport in the country.
UPDATE: (Sept 14) The strike at Tel Aviv’s airport ended 8 hours after it began. All operations at the airport have returned to normal. Passengers who were not able to collect their luggage due to the strike are asked to return to the airport and pick it up personally at the arrival’s gate.