israel railways 311POLICE AND RESCUE workers survey the scen.
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
The Histadrut labor federation, Israel Railways and Transportation Minister
Yisrael Katz reached a deal Tuesday to avert a train strike that threatened to
grind the country’s entire transportation system to a halt.
The deal came
into effect early Tuesday morning, just hours before a planned rail strike that
the Histadrut threatened to expand to include Israel’s air, ground and sea
transport industries as well.
As part of the agreement, rail workers will
receive a 25 percent salary increase, and the rail carrier agreed not to dismiss
any employees until 2030. In addition, more than 100 employees who had
previously worked as contract workers will now be directly employed by the
The deal calls for two subsidiaries to be set up at Israel
Railways – one for its real estate and the other for its cargo business –
employing workers under a collective agreement.
The maintenance of some
rolling stock will be outsourced, but not transferred to a separate
The 25% raise will be implemented gradually. The deal also
stipulates that 140 ticket office workers currently employed by an external
company will be brought under the collective agreement. The new benefits that
will accrue to Railways employees are valued at more than NIS 100 million
In return, the rail workers’ committee agreed to refrain from
calling labor disputes for three and a half years.
confidence-building measure, disciplinary measures and dismissals meted out by
the Railways disciplinary committee this week will be rescinded, including the
suspension of employee chair Gila Edrei.
The labor dispute was first
sparked by a recent decision by Railways management to outsource maintenance to
Bombardier, the Canadian conglomerate that manufactures the rail
cars.Jerusalem Post staff and Globes contributed to this report.