Train strike called off as bargain is reached with union

Train strike called off as bargain is reached with union

Agreement gives employees a 25% wage increase; train workers agree to not strike for 3.5 years

Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A planned general strike on Israeli trains was called off at the 11th hour early Tuesday morning, as the union representatives and management  reached an agreement in their negotiations. The strike was originally slated to go into effect at 6 a.m.

Representatives from the Histadrut labor federation and the management of Israel Railways met throughout the night to try to avoid the open-ended strike, which would have caused massive disruptions in the country’s morning commute.

The agreement calls for a 25% increase in workers’ salaries and guaranteed job security for 25 years. It also dismisses the suspensions of workers involved in the strike, and modifies the plan to split up Israel Railways into three privatized subsidies. In return, the workers union has agreed to not strike for the next 3.5 years.

Train workers have long complained of the state’s plans to privatize the rails and outsource work. The workers have threatened to strike before, with the result being harsh backlashes from Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.

Earlier in March, Katz announced a series of transportation reforms which will privatize the rail service by splitting up the current company, Israel Railways, into three subsidiaries responsible for maintenance, cargo, and real estate development, respectively.

On Sunday, rail workers union head Gila Edrei and seven other workers were suspended from their jobs for three months for threatening management.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

For as little as $6 a month, you can help support our independent journalism — and enjoy special benefits and status as a Times of Israel Community member!

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Join our community
read more: