Large numbers of Israeli commuters were left stranded on Monday morning as Egged Bus Company workers went on strike from Netanya in the north to Sderot in the south.
The battle over wages shut down bus service either completely or partially in Ashdod, Elad, Netanya, Mevasseret Zion, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, Netivot, Ofakim, the Gaza border area and between Ashkelon, Beersheva, Ashkelon, Sderot and Kiryat Gat, Ynet reported.
Workers had floated a proposal to provide service to the public free of charge as a work action. But the Egged management warned that any Egged drivers who failed to put in a full workday would be sent home without pay.
“In our view, the announcement by employees that they would not charge passengers is illegal and no different from a cashier allowing customers to leave a supermarket without paying for the groceries they took,” the company said.
Egged chairman Gideon Mizrahi issued a statement saying: “I urge the drivers to end these unnecessary sanctions and return to negotiations. I hope that the (workers’) committee will show some responsibility and order drivers back to the regular work schedule, to meet our obligations to the members of the public who want to go to work and to school.”