A major transport strike was averted Monday after negotiators representing drivers and the Egged bus company worked throughout the night to hammer out a new pay agreement. Drivers will now receive NIS 39 per hour, instead of the NIS 33 they had been paid previously.
In addition, the company promised to “end the one-sided damage they have been doing to drivers,” said Histradrut head Avi Nissenkorn, who participated in the all-night negotiating session Sunday night.
Drivers had complained that they were the lowest-paid transport workers in Israel, and that management had for years refused to upgrade their salaries, despite contractual obligations to do so. Nissenkorn said that he was “happy that both sides had shown responsibility and prevented a strike, which would have hurt hundreds of thousands of Israelis.”
Transport Minister Yisrael Katz also praised the deal, saying that the agreement was one that he has been pushing for months. “I am positive that this deal will greatly enhance the standing of Egged bus drivers and improve the service customers receive. I only wish that solving labor issues in other sectors could be done in the same way.”