The national rail strike came to an end Tuesday evening, a day after railway
workers staged a work stoppage to protest what they charged was management’s
excessive use of outside contractors.
Late Tuesday night, the Tel Aviv
District Labor Court handed down fines to leaders of the rail workers board for
failing to comply with an injunction to end the strike by 9 a.m. that
Israel Railways had requested that National Rail Workers Board
chairwoman Gila Edray and her colleagues, Moshe Uliel and Shai Tal, be declared
in contempt of court for their noncompliance with the injunction, and for
failing to turn up to a scheduled court hearing later Tuesday
Judge Efrat Laxer ordered each to pay fines of NIS 1,000 for
each hour they violated the injunctions, which the court issued at 11 p.m.
Laxer added that if the violations continued after 6
Wednesday, the fines would increase to NIS 2,500 per hour. She also
ordered the national rail workers board to pay NIS 15,000 in legal
She said the Transportation Ministry and Histadrut Labor
Federation chairman had fixed a meeting for Thursday to discuss the issues
surrounding the strike.
“The court expects that dialogue between the
parties will take steps to find a positive solution to their problems via
negotiations,” she said.
The court convened at 4 p.m. Tuesday over Israel
Railways’ request for the contempt- of-court injunction.
during the hearing, in which representatives of the Histadrut, National Rail
Workers Board and Israel Railways participated.
At one point, Laxer
ordered Edray to leave the courtroom for two minutes to “cool down outside,”
after the board chairwoman interrupted the hearing several times.
appeared at court around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, more than two hours after her scheduled testimony.
workers’ committee agreed to respect the court order and return to
Also Tuesday, two regular rail passengers filed a massive NIS 364
million class-action lawsuit over a string of seven recent disruptions and
delays in rail operations.
“Israel Railways knowingly used unusable,
dangerous trains that endangered the lives of hundreds of passengers,” the
“The time has come to put the company in its place
and show it that it cannot do whatever it wants, no matter how much suffering it
causes its customers, or how much it endangers their lives.”
Post staff and Globes contributed to this report.