Histadrut sends rail staff back to work

Eini reassures them: I will lead struggle against privatization.

Israrail train Bombardier 311 (photo credit: Bombardier)
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 company.”
A day earlier, rail workers had stopped several lines from running despite the previous day’s court ruling that found the move illegal.
Histadrut chief Ofer Eini urged Railways employees to honor the court decision.
“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 workloads.

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