Israel Airport Authority (IAA) workers at the Ben Gurion international Airport went on a surprise strike last Sunday afternoon, causing delays in outgoing flights.
The workers were protesting a government plan to increase the amount of royalties to be transferred by the IAA to the state by 500,000,000 NIS. ($131.5 million) next year, as the treasury struggles to raise revenues to meet higher defense and other bills.
Workers' unions fear that the higher royalties will means less money for the IAA to spend on operations and airport expansion.
A meeting between unions and officials of the finance and transportation ministries last week failed to resolve the dispute. The treasury denied that taking NIS500 million from the NIS2.5 billion in cash that the IAA is now holding would hurt employees in any way.
“The workers are making cynical use of their power to hurt the traveling public in order to further their own interests,” the treasury said. The strike was called off at 7:30 P.M. due to 'understandings being reached' and full activity was restored to the airport.