Cars drive on a highway as a train enters a station in Tel Aviv, Israel November 25, 2018.
(photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)
Israel Railways announced that trains throughout the country are running once again after being stalled for roughly an hour and a half.
Trains had been halted on Friday morning due to numerous workers failing to appear at work in what appeared to be a strike.
"Rail traffic will return in the next few minutes, but it will take about two hours before you return to the schedule," Israel Railways said.
The railways administration apologized to the passengers, and criticized the "illegal action taken this morning by the workers' representatives" promising to "act in all ways to prevent such incidents in the future."
Earlier, Israel Railway management announced that eight traffic managers at the National Railways Command reported illness on Friday morning.
"This is close to half of the 21-man control," said an Israel Railways spokesperson on Friday morning. "Four inspectors have just completed a shift that began at 10 p.m. last night and were extended by two hours, and cannot continue working according to the safety procedure. The rest of the nine inspectors refuse at this point to answer their telephones when we attempt to call them in to work."
As a result, the railway administration was forced to stop train movement throughout the country, in accordance with safety procedures, starting from 8 a.m. and continuing until further notice.
This apparent strike comes mere days after the appointment of former IDF colonel Michael Maixner
as CEO of Israel Railways. It was announced in December that - following problems with the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, overcrowding, and a third-quarter loss of approximately NIS 273 million - Maixner's predecessor Shahar Ayalon would be stepping down from the position.
"To our disappointment, despite the announcement of the Histadrut labor federation of the end to harm towards the passengers, the workers' committee, led by Gila Adraeli, continues to use barbaric and illegal strategies to depreciate employees. In the past few hours, almost half of the inspectors announced that they are ill," said Chairman of Passengers Boaz Hiresh. "We call on Gila Adraeli to stop using dark and illegal strategies, and to end the harm inflicted upon the passengers, especially the soldiers on their way home."Maariv Online contributed to this report
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