Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the aviation and tourism industries, the Histadrut, the management of Israir airline and its pilots, signed a provisional collective agreement that regulates the salary and employment conditions of the pilots for two months. The purpose of the agreement is to prevent dismissal of employees on the one hand and to allow the company to cope with the decline in its operations, on the other.
Under the agreement, all of the 60 company pilots will continue to work, but their wages will be cut 50% over April and May. The cut will be made on all components of salaries, except for the work-related deductibles and travel refunds. Full social benefits will be paid according to wages before the cut. Pilots who wish to be furloughed will be able to do so. The agreement expires at the end of May unless new agreements are reached by then. The agreement will be reevaluated if there is another significant decline in the company's flights, relative to today.
Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David said: "I congratulate the chairman of the Transportation Workers' Union, Avi Edri and the union's staff, as well as the management of Israair and its employees, who have shown responsibility and solidarity during the crisis. All of the sectors should act in such a mutual guarantee."
The chairman of the Histadrut Transport Workers Union, Avi Edri, said: "The company's management and pilots understood the magnitude of the crisis and joined hands with the courage to strengthen the company during the most challenging days in the aviation world. From personal acquaintance, when it comes to brave workers, leadership, and a creative CEO, the sky is the limit, literally. "
Israir Airlines CEO, Uri Sirkis, said: "Israir has chosen not to send it's pilots on unpaid vacation, to allow us maximum operational flexibility, which enables us to operate unlimited rescue and cargo flights. Creatively, Israir pilots maintain a high level of competence and safety. Lowering the payrolls of the pilots allows the company to operate cargo flights to China at competitive prices."