Train strike called off as talks progress

Train strike called off as talks progress

General strike was slated to bring rails to standstill at 6 a.m.

A deserted Tel Aviv train station during a general strike in February  (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flash90)
A deserted Tel Aviv train station during a general strike in February (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flash90)

A planned general strike on Israeli trains was called off at the 11th hour early Tuesday morning, as the two sides reported progress in talks.

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

The sides say they will sign the agreement in the coming hours. The details of the agreement are not yet known.

The strike was originally slated to go into effect at 6 a.m.

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.

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