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      Train Strike Leads to 'Bus Man's (Busy) Holiday'

      The government has ordered an increase in the number of intercity buses to ensure that a train strike doesn't cripple the country.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 9/22/2011, 10:51 AM

      Train in Israel
      Train in Israel
      Flash 90

      Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz intends to make sure that an Israel Railways train strike cannot cripple the country.

      Katz has instructed the National Transportation Inspector to increase the number of intercity buses on the road in response to a strike by Israel Railways workers.

      Some 170 buses from private companies have been pressed into service in order to accommodate daily commuters who normally take the train.

      The buses will be integrated into the regular public transportation fleets leaving from central bus stations across Israel, and will travel to destinations reached by the trains.

      Israel Railways workers walked off the jobs on Wednesday after union officials warned Sunday the strike was likely if a settlement could not be reached in talks over train maintenance.

      The management is seeking to outsource maintenance of the cars to Bombardier, the company that manufactured them. Workers contend that such a move would hurt their position in future contract negotiations.

      The district labor court in Tel Aviv decided Sunday not to issue an injunction against the sanctions, and instead ordered the workers' union, the Finance Ministry and the Railways management to conduct talks for two more weeks.

      The district labor court in Tel Aviv decided Sunday not to issue an injunction against the sanctions, and instead ordered the workers' union, the Finance Ministry and the Railways management to conduct talks for two more weeks.

      The strike, announced by the Transportation Workers' Union in the Histadrut Labor Federation, came Wedneday after talks broke down once more.