Egged bus
Egged bus Photo: Meir Salah

In final efforts to avoid a nationwide strike of Egged busses due to start Monday, a series of meetings were held Sunday between officials.

Director General of the Ministry of Transport Uzi Yitzhaki, Histadrut labor union Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, and Egged chairman Avi Friedman met in an attempt to prevent the strike.

The struggle began after the company's employees claimed that management “blew up” negotiations between the parties and that unilateral measures were taken against its employees.

According to the Histadrut, the core argument involves the company’s refusal to increase the driver’s salaries who currently earn about 32- 33 shekels per hour (about $8) – the lowest paid among drivers of public transportation in Israel.

Egged spokesman Ron Ratner said, "the threat of a strike by the workers and the Histadrut arises from recent arguments between the government and the independent public transport companies, agreements that do not include Egged drivers, and that will lead to a rise in drivers' pay funded by the Ministry of Finance.”

Ratner argued that the pay of Egged drivers should not be less than the norm in the industry – 39 shekels per hour (nearly $10).

Egged promised to release an update by Sunday night regarding Monday's planned strike via their Facebook page.

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