(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Tel Aviv Labor Court ordered the Israel Postal Company union on Wednesday to resume mobile post office service to outlying areas. Discussion of whether to halt remaining sanctions - early closing of branches, a halt to diplomatic mail and a refusal to accept deposits into government accounts - will be held at a hearing on Sunday.
The Israel Postal Company employees' union, which called a full-blown strike on Sunday but reverted to sanctions on Monday, is protesting the government's failure to lower bulk-mail rates to make the company competitive with private firms the mass mailing business. The workers claim that by not allowing the new state company to be competitive, it will lose its monopoly on bulk mail, and many of them will be fired.
Labor Court judge Yitzhak Lubetzky rejected the government's position that the postal company's new rate schedule was final. He also urged the company's management and the employees' union to hold talks on the contentious issues.
IPC Director-General Avi Hochman said he was pleased that the court had ordered workers to stop at least some of their sanctions and that the company had decided to examine the problem in depth.
Hochman said the court's decision to instruct the government to discuss postal rates was very important to the future of the IPC, and the return of mobile post office service was good news, he said, to the 1,200 settlements in the periphery that do not receive branch-based mail services and have been disconnected for over a week.
Postal agencies - owned by contractors, rather than postal employees - continue to operate as usual.