Employees of the Egged Ta'avura bus company are striking Sunday and Monday, they announced Wednesday, inconveniencing commuters nationwide in Ashdod, Netanya, Ashkelon, the northern Negev, and the Jerusalem area.
The Employees' Committee stated that the strike is due to an impasse in negotiations with company management despite six months of negotiations, and added that the company refuses to come to an agreement with its employees.
According to the workers, unionized under the organization "Power to the Workers", the management position is that if the state does not participate in 100% of the expected increase in wages of up to 39 shekels per hour - the salary stands today at NIS 32.6 per hour - the company will dock its own wage increase system. The company also intends to minimize raises for its drivers in general, they added.
"The drivers are demanding that the company puts its hands deeper into its pockets and will commit to at least a minimum wage increase for its employees," Union chairman Itzik Kashkesh stated Wednesday. "The extras in question include shortening the wait time on the keren hishtamlut (special wage plan in Israel which includes a Sabbatical year - ed.) from four years to two and a half, and increasing the premium for carrying out the work and for quality work."
"Due to the poor conditions the company finds it difficult to recruit drivers and the existing staff is cracking under the strain," he added.
The company's management has not yet issued a response.
The full list of lines scheduled to be on strike is as follows:
- Intracity lines within: the Netanya area, the Ashdod area, the Ashkelon area, the Elad area, the Shfirim area, and the northern Negev;
- Service from Ashkelon to Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon to Kiryat Gat, and Ashkelon to Ofakim;
- Service between Jerusalem and Mevaseret, Jerusalem and Givat Ze'ev, Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim, Jerusalem and the Binyamin region of Samaria, Jerusalem and the remainder of Samaria, Modi'in and the Binyamin region, and the "fast lines" from Modi'in to Jerusalem - lines 100, 101, 102; and
- Internal lines within Samaria.
A full list of current Egged Taavurah lines in English, and their stops, is available here.