Thursday, April 5

Tel Aviv's Dan Bus-cooperative on a fairly wild strike

Dan bus drivers went on a sort-of-wild-strike today. The cooperative's members are quite well paid, but the employed non-member drivers rather less so. As a result, some of the drivers went on strike today, completely stopping parts of the city's public transport. The drivers blocked the entrance and exit lanes of the "Carmel" Bus Depot, next to Tel Aviv's market.
As a result, public transport to all of the city and neighbouring suburbs was badly damaged. More than that, Egged buses, running from the same station, were blocked from leaving, while packed with commuters who selected to drive "Egged" rather than their regular "Dan" buses in an attempt to get home with heavy bags full of produce bought at the market or from work. The strike had not been pronounced officially and as a result many people waited for hours on over loaded bus stops, speculating why things took so long.
I do have a lot of understanding for the position of the employed drivers, however, going on a wild strike is sort of, well, counter productive, as the people who might be their best allies, were incredibly pissed off. Getting stuck with heavy bags of food and not enough money for a taxi on such a hot "khamsin" day, does do very little for sympathy.
The Egged busdrivers who picked up commuters and rode rather wild escape outes to get out of the blocked bus station, were considered the true heros by many of the public.


Akiva said...

yvgboYudit,how does the Dan bus co-operative company work?

Does the company belong to its 1200 bus driver members and how many drivers are non-members and how does one become a member of the co-op?

Plus Haaretz reports that the Dan bus drivers co-op is deeply in debt.

Akiva said...

I think the first five letters of the first word was part of the word verification,lol

yudit said...

Dan employs about 2400 people, 810 of them members.
As part of the privatization procedures going on through out the Israel market, Dan became a Ltd. company some years ago.
It receives a subsidy from the govt, in order to make it possible to operate public transport lines to areas to which this is not worthwhile from an economic point of view (e.g. the occupied territories of the West Bank) and at late hours, when there are not many travellers.
As a result the company cannot make true financial gain.
Good public transport is important for a city to survive and be viable. It should be considered a service and the idea to make it profitable will be at a great cost to the people and the environment.

J.P. said...

With some more solidarity the world would be a better place, the people from Egged are strike-breakers.
Going on strike at midnight would be prefered by the management I suppose.
The people most hurt most by the strike are the ones to have almost the same circumstances like the drivers.

yudit said...

Not sure i agree:
When a strike is declared (e.g. the previous day or early morning, by all media), as is common, people will know about it, and perhaps not go or find other ways of transport or not buy lots of stuff at the market, for which they have no way of shlepping home.
A "wild" strike is spontaneous & not well organised.
People are stuck on bus stops waiting for hours, not even knowing there is a strike...
Due to the passover holiday there are fewer taxis.
Moreover, many people; elderly, poor, kids do not have enough money for a taxi or do not have that money on them.Not knowing at all a strike had been declared, they got stuck, often quite far away from their homes, for many hours.
I saw an elderly lady giving her shopping to someone else, because she was going home walking and could not carry it. She was crying.
Then some people at the bus-stop gathered money to give her for a taxi....

Egged is a totally different company, making use of the same terminal. Although i AM in favour of labour rights including the right to strike as an effective means, in striking in favour of other colleagues from other companies is OK, i do not think it should be so at the "wild" strike stage.
In this case i think the Dan drivers lost the sympathy of their most important public: the travellers making regular use of public transport (the young, the elderly, the poor and the ecologically aware).

J.P. said...

Ecologically Aware?

Give me a break, if there are more than 250 people in Tel Aviv and suburbs who do use the bus out of ecological awareness I'll plant a tree.
People want to have their own personal tin can, if you can not afford one it is so easy to do some kicking, how about airco and blazing home computers.

People only think about themselves,
road repair crews being threatened
because drivers have to slow down or to stop for some time.
It is rotten for the weak to be again the victim to get the first blow, yes too the management will use this to weaken the structure of the strike.

Sometimes it is good to give an unexpected signal to boost the brain speed of the sleepy managers.

I'll make it two trees if all these aware people do promise to give up the use of plastic grocery bags and
switch over to for example linen.

Lirun said...

hi yudit

can you please read my latest post and tell me what you think/know?

Tsedek said...

yudith, i've made an entry on my blog after heaving read through yours. I am so angry, so very angry I just had to vent it. I hope you don't mind. Sorry for going offtopic but I couldn't find an email to let you know.