Jerusalem light rail workers ordered to return to work shortly after striking

The conductors staged the strike in opposition to CityPass’ mandate to expedite service, lowering wait times to six minutes from eight to 11 minutes.

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August 2, 2015 17:43
1 minute read.
Jerusalem light rail

Jerusalem light rail.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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It was over almost as soon as it started.

Shortly after Jerusalem Light Rail conductors went on strike Sunday morning to protest working conditions, briefly disrupting service throughout the capital, the Jerusalem Labor Court filed an injunction forcing the employees to immediately return to work.

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The conductors staged the strike in opposition to light rail operator CityPass’s mandate to expedite service, lowering wait times to six minutes from eight to 11 minutes. During the short-lived strike, the Transportation Ministry increased bus services on most routes in the city.

According to Danny Bonfil, the head of the Histadrut labor federation in the Jerusalem area, the decision to increase light rail services was made without consulting CityPass employees, who deemed the change untenable.

“The light rail operators are refusing to work under these conditions,” Bonfil said.

CityPass dismissed the strike as an exploitative money grab that is undermining the public’s trust.

“Unfortunately, the conductors and their union are exploiting this time of the year at the expense of passengers,” it said. “It is inconceivable that the conductors and their union would cease train service throughout the city, and hold 140,000 daily passengers as hostages.”

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CityPass’s management and the conductors’ union have been in talks recently over a collective work agreement, during which the conductors demanded that their salaries be doubled, as well as “other concessions on top of their already favorable working con - ditions,” it said.

The operating company contended that the new train schedule “does not hinder the drivers at all, and is in fact to their benefit.”

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