A Jerusalem labor court on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against the Ministry of Transportation, halting a plan to privatize the driver testing department and ordering the Ministry and striking union workers to renew negotiations for a compromise. The injunction will remain in force for 90 days.
The court also ordered striking driving testers back to work, ending a nearly two and a half month-long hiatus of driver’s license tests.
In his decision, Judge Eyal Avrahami explained the basis of his injunction, writing that the Transportation Ministry had not followed proper procedure.
“The privatization process was apparently pursued without consultations or talks as required by law, therefore we order a temporary halt.”
Avi Nissenkorn, chairman of the Histadrut (General Labor Federation), praised the ruling.
“I’m happy to announce that the full and immediate return of driving testers to work. We will continue to act responsibly on behalf of the Israeli public and we will work tireless against efforts to turn employees into contracted workers.”
The Transportation Ministry issued a statement saying it planned to appeal the court’s decision.
On Tuesday the Ministry of Transportation presented a temporary solution to the strike. According to the plan drawn up by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), professional managers from driving schools would serve as driving testers for half a year until the privatization plan takes effect at the beginning of 2017.
By next month, temporary replacements for the striking testers could be ready to step in to fill the gap if needed, say ministry officials.