Train service remains suspended despite injunction

National Labor Court threatens police action after striking rail employees fail to appear for scheduled hearings.

February 14, 2012 15:46
1 minute read.
israel railways train

train 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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The Tel Aviv District Labor Court was set to commence hearings for striking train workers at 4:00 p.m. after rail employees failed to appear before the court until presiding judge Efrat Lekser threatened to order police to bring them in.

Train service had not yet resumed Tuesday afternoon, despite orders from the court that striking railway workers return to work at 9:00 a.m.

Representatives of the striking train employees were scheduled to appear at the court in Jerusalem at 11:00 a.m. following an injunction against their strike. Still, they did not appear for the discussions until after 1:00 p.m., when the court threatened to take police action in order to force them to participate in court hearings.

Following their appearance, hearings were rescheduled for 4:00 p.m. in order to end the strike that was the result of a labor dispute within Israel Railways.

Earlier Tuesday Israel Railways stated on its Facebook page that the management was "waiting and hoping that the railway employees board would respect the injunction."

The nation's rail system ground to a halt Monday night, after Israel Railways employees declared an open-ended strike to protest the outsourcing of maintenance services to a foreign company.

The strike, which began at 11 p.m. Monday, comes in response to the rail operator's decision to contract out maintenance work for hundreds of rail cars to Bombardier, the Canadian company that produces the vehicles.

Railway workers complain that the work should be conducted in-house, thereby providing them with much-needed supplemental income.

"The management is leaving maintenance work to those same companies that are responsible for all of the trains' malfunctions over the last two years,"
the railway employees board said in a statement. "It is continuing to refuse to hold negotiations with the employees board and is perpetuating the miserable economic conditions of hundreds of rail employees who have to receive welfare payments due to their low salaries."

Globes contributed to this report.

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