TEL AVIV, June 5 (Reuters) - All air traffic at Israel’s principal airport was shut down on Friday after workers walked off the job to demand compensation for wages lost due to the coronavirus crisis, an airport spokeswoman and union official said.
Global demand for air travel has plummeted amid the pandemic and Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, put about 2,500 airport workers on unpaid leave in early March.
The Israel Airports Authority’s workers’ union has demanded the country negotiate a compensation package with airport workers.
“The workers that were placed on unpaid leave have now stopped receiving unemployment benefits. We need the government to find a solution,” union spokeswoman Gali Gabbay said.
Most flights at the airport had already been halted due to the pandemic, save for a handful of daily passenger and cargo services.
The workers’ strike will affect 37 flights on Friday, 17 outbound and 20 inbound, the airport said. It did not say how many were passenger versus cargo flights.
Israel has not said when it will end COVID-19 border restrictions.
Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Pravin Char