The Histadrut national labor federation has declared a ‘work dispute’ regarding the ongoing labor dispute with Egged. Once a ‘work dispute’ is declared, the sides are aware that a strike can be launched 14 days later, signaling the need to enter into intensive talks to head-off a strike, which rarely occurs.
If a strike is called, the Histadrut will instruct 6,000 cooperative workers to walk off the job on Thursday, 11 Tishrei. According to Histadrut, the state is refusing to sign a subsidy agreement with Egged management and this has harmed the salary of employees.
The government subsidizes Egged but the last subsidy agreement, which was signed back in 2005, expired a number of months ago and a new one is yet to be signed. Histadrut director Avi Nissankoren blames government officials of acting irresponsibly, as the agreement expired nine months ago.
Egged spokesman Ron Ratner adds he is sorrow that the situation has reached where it is today but he feels Egged has been more than patient, waiting nine months but the necessary documents have yet to be signed. He adds that Egged has been the nation’s leading transportation service for 83 years and today, it transports 1.2 million passengers daily on regular lines and private charters.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)