The Histadrut declared a general strike at KAL

The strike was declared due to the extreme isolation conditions of the company’s pilots in China and Hong Kong who are forced to stay in a closed room, sometimes for four consecutive days and due to the company’s intention to fire half of its pilots.

Cal Cargo plane at Ben Gurion Airport. Cal Cargo photo

The Histadrut has declared a general strike at the company KAL, in which a labor dispute was declared three weeks ago, claiming that the company’s management refuses to find a compromise that would ease the difficult isolation conditions of pilots in China and Hong Kong, contrary to the global pilots’ recommendation. Only outbound emergency flights will be allowed, with the approval of the Exceptions Committee.

Following KAL Air Lines ‘announcement that it will schedule 23 of its pilots (half of all pilots) for a pre-dismissal hearing, the Histadrut’s Transportation Workers’ Union announced a general shutdown at the company. The shutdown will include all of CAL’s departing flights, except for emergency flights that will be approved by the Exceptions Committee. KAL pilots, who fly to China and Hong Kong, are suffering from a long stay in difficult isolation conditions, but all attempts by the Histadrut and the committee to negotiate in this matter have been in vain.

Chairman of the Histadrut’s Transportation Workers’ Union Avi Edri: “We were shocked to hear about the incarceration conditions of KAL pilots. In China. On some occasions the pilots were required to lock themselves in a room for a hallucinatory period of 4 consecutive days while prohibiting the opening of windows in the room. This is a scene taken from the movie ‘Midnight Express’ which does not benefit the mind of any person in general and the mind of a pilot who is supposed to fly a plane safely, in particular. The World Pilots Organization has made it clear that this is a closure that has a mental impact on pilots and recommended that a closure over 48 hours be on a voluntary basis. Instead of embracing its pilots, the company’s management decided in an extreme step to close the line to China and lay off about 50% of the company’s pilots. This is a red, inhuman line, which operates as a workers’ organization and as human beings a natural and justified defense. We will guard and protect CAL pilots by all means at our disposal. “

The KAL Pilots’ Committee: “From the beginning of the corona we fly almost exclusively to China and Hong Kong which require prolonged isolation, staying in closed rooms without the possibility of leaving the room or even opening a window – for periods of up to even five consecutive days. There is no example in the world of pilots who have done above and beyond in this time of crisis like our pilots, and thanks to their efforts the company is in the most prosperous time ever. We asked the company, similar to the recommendation of the International Pilots ‘Organization, to define a procedure for staying in isolation conditions for our pilots in order to maintain the pilots’ health and flight safety. Unfortunately, the company refused to talk to us about it and we had to declare a labor dispute. In response, the company announced that it would lay off about half of the company’s pilots immediately. All we asked the management was to discuss with us to set up an orderly procedure for the isolation stays so that the pilots would have certainty about the management of their lives, and so that they could know they could return home after a reasonable period of time to their families. We call on the CAL management to come to their senses and sit down with us so that we can reach agreements for the benefit of all. “

From the KAL company Responded: “We do not manage our working relationship through the media. The company’s pilots, who are very dear to us, have reported a labor dispute due to the conditions of stay in isolation required by the authorities in destinations in East Asia. The company is examining the possible courses of action and hopes to find suitable solutions. ”

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Source: IAS by www.ias.co.il.

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