'Merav-0-in transportation': Bus drivers use license plates to protest wages

Thousands of bus drivers protested against their working conditions by replacing their front plates with a text implicating that Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli was a failure.

 A license plate indicating that Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli received a zero in her conduct, on June 1, 2022. (photo credit: COURTESY HISTADRUT)
A license plate indicating that Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli received a zero in her conduct, on June 1, 2022.
(photo credit: COURTESY HISTADRUT)

Thousands of buses across Israel replaced their front license plates with the words "Merav-0-in transportation," directed at Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli as part of an ongoing protest against the drivers' work conditions and wages. 

The license plates indicated that Michaeli received a "zero" in her handling of the office.

"It is time that the most failed Transportation Minister in the country's history leave [the social media platform] TikTok and see how drivers are collapsing," the Histadrut labor federation said in a statement.

"It is time that the most failed Transportation Minister in the country's history leave [the social media platform] TikTok and see how drivers are collapsing."

Histadrut labor federation

"We hope that with the changing of the license plates stressing in the best way possible the transportation minister's failures, she will wake up. Many more surprises are expected ahead of a general strike of the transportation sector on Thursday," the Histadrut said.

Women bus drivers protested on Monday in front of Michaeli's house, arguing that she was not standing up for women's rights as they were forced to urinate in buckets due to a lack of refreshment stations.

 Women bus drivers protest their working conditions outside of the house of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, on May May 30, 2022. (credit: COURTESY HISTADRUT) Women bus drivers protest their working conditions outside of the house of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, on May May 30, 2022. (credit: COURTESY HISTADRUT)

"Normal people head to work with a bag and food. Does anyone think it is normal that I need to go to work with a bucket in order to urinate?" asked Yasmin Zuabi, a resident of Umm el-Fahm and a member of the Histadrut's Drivers Union.

"Enough is enough," she said, parodying a Hebrew saying that literally says "water has entered my soul" by replacing it with "urine has entered my soul,"

"It is time for the Transportation Minister to wake up before we shut down the country," she said.

Bus drivers have been protesting their conditions for a long time due to low salaries, lack of facilities and an uptick in violence, especially since many drivers were attacked after demanding that passengers wear masks, during the periods when they were mandated during the COVID-19 pandemic.