A nightly negotiation prevented the strike we all dreaded. Some passengers missed the news, while others changed their plans accordingly. Passengers are pleased about the outcome but suspicious about other strikes in the future. “Both sides aimed to high and the ones left with the bill are us, the passengers” says an irritated passenger about the negotiation outcomes.

According to the agreement between the Histadrut and the board of the train, the train’s maintenance will be outsoared to a private company and tow additional cargo and commerce subsidiary companies will be formed, in addition for respect the workers’ rights according to the Collective bargaining. In return the workers agreed to “industrial peace” and will avoid strikes within the next three and a half years.

The workers are to enjoy a 25% raise in salary – “depending on reforms”. According to the Histadrut, the train workers will be included in the 2013 salaries agreement in the public service, which will increase their current salary by 30%. The negotiation also produced a onetime grant of 40 thousand NIS for every worker and the board’s cooperation in hiring 140 new staff members, mostly cashiers, within the Collective bargaining.

Surprisingly, it was decided to withdraw the suspension of Gila Edri that took part in assaulting the train’s CEO Boaz Zafrir a few weeks ago in the train station in Lod.
The current agreement is almost identical to the previous agreement offered to the board by the Histadrut. The previous one was rejected immediately and fully, in response the workers embarked on a full strike protected by the Histadrut’s support. The generous flexibility shown by the board is almost too good to be true. It is uncommon for a strike to achieve such a bountiful agreement, one must wonder if all measures where Kosher.

The public is relived about enjoying the train one more “It’s hard not to use the train once you get use to it, I’m glad they figured out striking isn’t the answer” said a passenger in Tel Aviv. The Israeli public is not blind to the suspicious process in which the agreement was signed “I’m pleased the strike is over but I’m not thrilled and expect additional strikes” said another passenger. “It’s wrong to allow Gila Edri to remain in position. I think she conducted herself in a poor manner, forcefully and inappropriately” said passenger.