Bus Strike

On Wednesday: bus strike in Judea and Samaria

The Transportation Union will suspend the bus services of the company 'Electra Afikim Transportation 21' in Samaria and Gush Etzion in response to disruptions within the company | The full list inside

(Photo: Binyamin Council)

The Transportation Workers Union will stage a strike on Wednesday, between 5:00-8:00, suspending the bus services of 'Electra Afikim Transportation 21' company in Samaria and Gush Etzion, including the settlements of Mateh Binyamin, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba, and Route 60 down to Be'er Sheva.

The union objects to several violations of the collective agreement in the company, including the replacement of drivers with contract workers in the coming five years, as well as the inadequate maintenance of buses in the company, which led to many buses being taken out of service.

"The company presents a false claim that there is a shortage of drivers. There is no shortage of drivers in the company," says Raid Mashal, the workers' committee chairman. "There is a temporary shortage of drivers during the holiday season. We have no problem with covering for that. But the company is trying to exploit the situation and outsource all the work to contractors for 5 years!!"

"Throughout the year. This is a serious infringement on our working conditions and a violation of existing agreements. We tried to find interim solutions during the day, but unfortunately, we encountered the management's refusal."

Tamar Ohana, the head of the transportation branch at Koach LaOvdim, said: "We have created a clear mechanism with the management that requires consultation before any intention to sell schedules. Since the signing [of the agreement], the company has sold schedules at these branches without updating the workers' representation and certainly without any consultation process.

"In addition, last July, the company committed that at the Judea and Samaria branch, schedules would not be sold until the end of 2023. And this agreement is being violated flagrantly. The drivers' trust is broken, and the harm to them will not go unnoticed."

The company's management responded: "The company has not harmed and will not harm any driver and his rights"

At Electra Afikim, they responded to the allegations and stated: "At this very moment, the management is appealing to the Labor Court for a restraining order. The management respects the workers' committee, but together with that, in this case, the committee cynically uses democratic tools and even belittles them when taking them as hostages, both the traveling public and the drivers on the eve of Rosh Hashanah."

They also added: "As part of Electra Afikim's efforts to optimize and improve the service in the Binyamin region, the company operates in several areas, including the acquisition of new stone and bullet proof buses at a cost of tens of millions of shekels, an extensive refurbishment of the existing bus fleet, and streamlining the work schedules of the drivers. The company has not harmed and will not harm any driver and their rights. The company's goal is to improve the service for the residents of the Jerusalem Envelope, and it will do everything in its power to enhance the service alongside fulfilling the workers' rights.

"We reiterate that there is and will be no change and/or harm to the rights of the drivers. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the labor union has opposed any initiative that could lead to service improvement. The organization acts forcefully and irrationally without considering the long-term implications that could benefit the workers."

The list of settlements affected by the strike:

Alon Shvut, Elazar, Bat Ayin, Gevaot, Har Gilo, Kfar Etzion, Carmei Tzur, Migdal Oz, Ma'ale Amos, Meitsad, Neve Daniel, Nokdim, Rosh Tzurim, Tko'a, Eshkolot, Negohot, Carmel, Beit Yatir, Otniel, Ma'ale Hever, Kiryat Arba.

Prominent lines:

1 Ariel, 462 Ariel, 464 Ariel, 465 Kedumim, 466 Kedumim, 467 Alon Moreh, 468 Modiin, 469 Kedumim, 475 Kedumim, 479 Emanuel, 949 Maale Efraim, 946 Hemdat, 943 Beit She'an, lines 140 and 141 to Beit El, lines 146 and 147 Maale Michmash and Machane Rabin, lines 43, 143, 144 and 145 Tel Zion and Kochav Yaakov, 148 Psagot, lines 142 and 472 Geva Binyamin and Adam, 149 Almon.

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