Israel Railways announced on Tuesday that representatives of the Train Workers Council, headed by the Council's chairperson and his deputy, ordered workers this morning to sabotage IC3 train engines that had been fixed and were ready to be used.
According to the announcement, the order to the diesel garage in Haifa was meant to prevent a renewal of transportation on the line to Jerusalem in a jockeying for power vis-a-vis Israel Railways, reports Channel 10.
A full 28 workers were involved in the incident, with some of them sabotaging the engines by disassembling parts of them - some of them didn't follow the orders. As a result, eight of a total 11 repaired engines that were ready for usage were made unusable.
After learning about the activities, Israel Railways together with the Histadrut labor union acted to stop the sabotage, noting that the action was taken against the position of the Histadrut in negotiations, which has since ordered workers not to take such steps and to fix the damage to the engines.
As a result of the incident 12 workers were summoned for disciplinary procedures, including a hearing prior to suspension.
Israel Railways has submitted a petition to the labor court charging contempt of court rulings, and also contacted the police.
"Unfortunately this is another bullying act by the Train Workers Council, which took the goal of intentionally sabotaging the ability to use engines and make the outsourcing processes fail by any means," said Israel Railways in a statement.
The statement added the Council's moves were "against the law, against work agreements, (and taken) while knowingly harming train passengers."
In response, the Council slammed the "lies" and "manipulative videos meant to hide the fiascoes of privatization under whose framework the railway was forced to strike the whole IC3 system. Train workers didn't harm or sabotage this system, the opposite (is true)."
"The workers fulfilled all agreement orders...and even more than that. We regret that the company's management isn't taking responsibility for the failed privatization and tries to throw the responsibility on the workers," said the Council.