Egged Taavura bus driver strikes leave passengers stranded around the country

Toward the formulation of a new collective agreement, the Egged Taavura workers committee had submitted a list containing more than 60 demands to the company's management.

March 2, 2015 21:42
2 minute read.

An Egged bus sits in a parking lot . (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Following a day of strikes that caused termination of bus services in a number of cities, the management of Egged Taavura called upon its employees to return to work immediately.

Bus drivers from Egged Taavura, a subsidiary of the larger Egged company, failed to show up for work on Monday, causing the termination of service that day in Ashdod, Netanya, Mevaseret Zion, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, Netivot, Ofakim and communities near the Gazan border, as well as the bus line that runs between Ashkelon and Beersheba.

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Partial disruptions also impacted the cities of Ashkelon, Sderot and Kiryat Gat.

Toward the formulation of a new collective labor agreement, the Egged Taavura workers committee had submitted a list containing more than 60 demands to the company’s management, a spokesman for the firm said.

Egged Taavura management accused the workers committee members of putting pressure on the company’s management and threatening to instruct employees to take actions such as not charging passengers.

Calling upon the workers to return to work immediately, the management stressed on Monday that the sudden strike would have no impact on the stance of the executives regarding the committee’s demands.

“Between the management and the workers committee, negotiations are being conducted to draft a new collective agreement designed to benefit the workers,” said Gideon Mizrahi, CEO of Egged Taavura. “Even if there are differences of opinion regarding the 60 demands the committee presented, the only way forward is through dialogue and not through militant and unjustified action.”

“We are very early in the negotiations, so there is no point in the stringent measures taken by the committee,” Mizrahi continued. “I apologize to our customers for the distress caused to them as a result of the reckless conduct of the committee.”

Itzik Kashkash, head of the workers committee, told the media that his committee chose this step “in order to not make passengers pawns.”

Explaining that drivers get paid a very low wage, at NIS 32.60 per hour, Kashkash stressed that the work is grueling and often requires 11-hour shifts per day.

Meanwhile, MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) sent an urgent letter to Transportation Minister Israel Katz, calling upon him to intervene in the labor disputes.

“Passengers are in the hands of a company that endangers the lives of its employees and operates public transportation with harmful and unsafe conditions,” Gilon said.

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