Bus (illustrative)
Bus (illustrative)iStock

Thousands of bus drivers, members of a public transportation union, will strike Friday in protest of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli's (Labor) refusal to meet with them and improve their salaries, security, and working conditions, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

The strike is in accordance with a decision by the National Labor Court, and will affect buses operating on Friday between the hours of 10:00a.m. and 12:00p.m.

It will also affect buses on Monday, June 20, and according to reports is one of many strikes that the Labor Court has approved.

The National Workers' Union responded: "Unfortunately, the Minister has not hearkened to the drivers' pleas to meet with her and help their distress. We are going on an unlimited number of strikes, until the Minister wakes up and takes care of those who are on the roads 14 hours a day and carrying all of Israel's public transportation on their shoulders, alone. It's time that the honorable Minister remember that she is supposed to represent the workers' status, and not just take care of the temperature of their air conditioner. There will be many more surprises."

The Bus Drivers Organization responded: "Forty percent of drivers have been viciously attacked, over 300 attacks have occurred just since the beginning of 2022. There is a shortage of 5,000 drivers, and thousands of drivers are working double the hours in order to bring home a respectable salary, but none of this interests the Transportation Minister."

"The Transportation Minister continues to abuse tens of thousands of bus drivers, abandoning them to relieve themselves in bottles and buckets, and ignoring any attempts to contact her. We have tried to hold discourse, but Michaeli is busy with politics, apparently. We intend to expand the strikes until Ms. Michaeli gets off social media and wakes up."