Jerusalem Light Rail Employees Stage a Sick Out [UPDATED 3:25 PM IL]


20110516-WN-10-Jerusalem-Gears-Up-for-the-Light-Rail.bmpAbout one-third of Jerusalem light rail employees called in sick on Tuesday, the first day of chol hamoed Sukkos in Eretz Yisrael. The sick out is severely impacting light rail service at a time that a significant increase in the number of riders is expected as mispallalim head to the Kosel and many people visit Jerusalem during chol hamoed. Before yomtov, light rail operators announced that the frequency of trains would be increased to accommodate the expected heavy Sukkos ridership.

Management turned to the labor court in an urgent appeal to order strikers back to work.

In the interim, the Ministry of Transportation has ordered boosting certain bus lines in the hope of making up for the lack of light rail service. This includes the 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, and 29 lines.

The sick out has significantly disrupted light rail service, resulting in a most difficult situation for riders during chol hamoed with thousands of visitors looking to make their way to areas served by the light rail.

15:25: A Jerusalem District Labor Court judge instructed the Histadrut labor federation to get involved to bring strikers back to work in the morning, Wednesday. The court is awaiting a progress report later in the evening towards understanding if light rail service will resume on a regular yomtov schedule on Wednesday, the second day of chol hamoed. The court commented on the fact that the city is without adequate light rail service during Sukkos and this is problematic.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Posted 1 Chol Hamoed Sukkos in Eretz Yisrael)