The Histadrut and the Israel Railways announced this morning (Thursday) that they signed a collective agreement for the railway workers, after over 5 years of negotiations.
According to the railway company’s report to the stock exchange, the collective agreement regulates the issue of electrification and the tunnel, technological agreements, transfer of hubs, management flexibility, technological innovation and cancellation of legal proceedings. The employees will receive a salary increase of up to 6.25%, and the management will allocate NIS 45 million to be distributed in the form of a one-time grant to the employees as compensation for the electrification. The railway currently employs 3,807 workers whose employment is regulated by collective agreements, and 640 workers under individual contracts. The agreement was signed for a period of 4 years and 7 months and its cost is estimated at NIS 280 million.
The agreement between the workers and the management was in the final stages and “towards signing” for many months, but in the end it was only signed after Miri Regev assumed her position as Minister of Transportation. The chairman of the railway’s workers’ committee, Gila Adrai, is considered a supporter of Regev – and the railway and the government believed that she was delaying the signing on purpose so that Regev would be the one to sign the achievement.
The conclusion of the negotiations and the delivery of the train, as well as the signing of the agreement, is the first significant achievement of the Minister of Transportation Regev, and is also an achievement for the CEO and chairman of the government company, Micha Meixner and Moshe Shimoni, the chairman of the Histadrut Arnon Bar David and chairman The transport union in the former Histadrut Avi Adri, who were involved in reaching the agreements.
Adrai herself needed this agreement more than anyone, because since she assumed her position she had not signed a collective agreement, and as a result the employment conditions of the employees were frozen for many years, when the last collective agreements in the company were signed in 2017 by the previous board. In recent years, sanctions were imposed on the train, but these were limited due to a court order that did not allow strikes that would lead to injury to passengers.
At the signing ceremony, the chairman of the Histadrut Arnon Bar David referred to MK Rothman’s initiatives to limit the right to strike: “I want to reassure all workers in the State of Israel. There is no chance that proposals that harm the Histadrut and the workers’ committees will pass in the Israeli Knesset. There is always some Knesset member who promotes it, It’s not serious and it won’t go away.”
Transportation Minister Miri Regev backed up Bar-David’s words and said that “the Netanyahu government will not harm the workers and will not limit the right to strike – the workers are the solution, not the problem.”
The chairman of the board of directors of the Israel Railways, attorney Moshe Shimoni, said: “The most important resource of the railway is its human resource. The new agreement that was forged with great effort and labor is a defining event for the employees of the railway and for the tens of millions of passengers it serves. I am proud that we were able to produce an agreement that is an anchor important in the conduct of the company. I would like to thank the Minister of Transportation, MK Brigadier General (Res.) Miri Regev, for her work for the agreement, the chairman of the Histadrut for his close support and finding solutions to the various issues, the general manager of the railway and the chairman of the railway committee for The hard work for the agreement.”
The CEO of Israel Railways, Michael Meixner, said: “Israel Railways is an asset that touches the citizens of Israel every day. Today we are concluding a long and complex negotiation of four years, at the end of which we brought an agreement that is the basis for regulating the labor relations system in the railway, and establishing an infrastructure of joint work that will support the company’s progress towards its goals along with the employment security of its employees. This is another pillar in building a solid society for the benefit of the traveling public and the workers, and I am proud to sign an agreement that outlines the tracks for the next five years and decade.”