An Egged bus driving through Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Employees of the Egged Ta’avura bus company, a subsidiary of Egged, embarked on a two-day strike Sunday in protest of work conditions. The strike has stopped all 200 lines servicing a slew of cities in the South, save for Beersheba, as well as several local lines in and around Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv.
A statement by the union blamed management for foot-dragging in negotiations that have lasted six months, saying the only progress made had been an increase in salary that would come primarily from state sources.
“And what if the state [Transportation Ministry] will refuse? The deal will be canceled. The management expects us to abandon the future of 760 drivers for an uncovered check,” the statement said. The union says it twice deferred strikes to give negotiations a chance.
Egged Ta’avura, argues that agreements thus far would boost driver pay to NIS 39 an hour (up from NIS 32.6) and add various benefits, including wage supplements. Workers were seeking, among other improvements, a raise to NIS 40 an hour.
“The gaps between the parties did not justify a strike,” Egged Ta’avura CEO Gideon Mizrahi said. The company, he argued, had offered to increase salaries by NIS 450 to NIS 750 a month until the state funds are sorted, as well as raising pension contributions and adding security to certain bus lines in the form of bulletproofing.
Egged Ta’avura workers will demonstrate outside the Transportation Ministry on Monday.
Egged Ta’avura is offering more specific information and service updates at *3133.