Egged Ta’avura bus company workers on Thursday announced an open-ended strike starting Sunday which would shut down public transportation in and between several major cities in Israel.
Egged Ta’avura, a subsidiary of Israel’s largest transportation company, operates lines that primarily connect outlying communities to main Egged municipal and intercity lines.
The workers union said it would strike because of an ongoing labor dispute with company management which has dragged on for the past 10 months.
Egged Ta’avura drivers in June also threatened to halt service, demanding that their hourly wage be raised from NIS 32 to NIS 39 (around $10), as per a recent Transportation Ministry decision.
The union said it would not operate city buses in Ashdod, Netanya, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Sderot, and the Jerusalem periphery. Intercity buses to Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Beersheba would also come to a halt, threatening to shut down some of the busiest public transportation routes.
“We apologize to the public for the aggravation,” union chair Itzik Kashkash told Walla news. “It’s important to remember that we found other innovative ways to advance the negotiations without harming passengers, like [offering] free rides, but the company prefers to shut the buses down themselves and snarl passengers’ schedules instead of substantively advancing negotiations.”