Israrail train Bombardier 311.
(photo credit: Bombardier)
The Israel Railways management withdrew its petition Sunday to have the
company’s workers committees held in contempt of court, after the Histadrut
labor federation said employees would honor court decisions obligating them to
return to work.
Railways officials filed the complaint earlier Sunday
after employees refused to begin operating the Tel Aviv- West Rishon Lezion
line, scheduled to begin running the same day.
Following a marathon
all-night hearing, Tel Aviv Labor Court ordered rail employees to open the new
line. At 8 AM the West Rishon Lezion station was opened and passengers boarded,
but the train did not move.
“Minister of Transport Israel Katz has
ordered Israel Railways management to implement the ruling [after the Railways
employees defied the court order] and personally sue everyone who prevented the
opening of the new West Rishon Lezion railway station,” Israel Railways said
Sunday in a statement obtained by Globes.
“In accordance with this
directive, Israel Railways management has asked the court for remedies against
the workers committee for contempt of court. The Railways will also file
personal lawsuits and suspend from the Railways every employee who tried to
prevent the opening of the new line today, thereby breaking the law,
contravening the Labor Court decision, and harming railway passengers and the
A day earlier, rail workers had stopped several lines from
running despite the previous day’s court ruling that found the move
Histadrut chief Ofer Eini urged Railways employees to honor the
“I intend to personally lead the Railways workers’
struggle. This is a battle of principle against the privatization of
labor and the bringing in of contract workers,” he said.
A labor dispute
was declared several weeks ago after Railways employees complained that
operating the new line would place too heavy a burden on their already heavy