Egged bus strike averted in late-night deal

Despite pursuit to reduce expenditures by NIS 100 million, bus company agrees to suspend plans to fire employees in favor of averting strike.

An Egged bus sits in a parking lot  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An Egged bus sits in a parking lot
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Monday’s Egged bus strike was narrowly averted in overnight negotiations between the bus company, its union and the Histadrut labor federation.
In a six-hour meeting, the parties agreed on steps to “strengthen the weak population of Egged’s workers” and suspend plans to fire employees. The company had plans to fire 160 workers and cut some workers’ hours in efforts to reduce its expenditures by NIS 100 million a year.
“Throughout the negotiations, it was important for me to bring a revelation to the wider public and to the Egged workers,” said Histadrut chairman Avi Nissankoren.
“I am glad that we managed to avoid a strike. The union and management of Egged acted responsibly and maturely toward the citizens of the state, toward the workers of Egged and toward the cooperative,” he added.
The agreement, he said, was proof that dialogue could lead to agreement.
Ahead of the agreement, Egged had maintained that the threat of a strike unnecessarily riled the public. Egged spokesman Ron Ratner had said that the company had not breached any terms of the collective agreement with its workers, and noted that the company paid drivers wages some 30 percent higher than other public transport companies, despite having lost market share.