Rail Traffic in Israel Returns to Normal; Strike Ended

Freight traffic on Israel’s rail system was rapidly returning to normal today although passenger traffic is not expected to be regularized before tomorrow. The nationwide wildcat strike of rail engineers and firemen ended late last night, several hours before a government ultimatum expired and the army took over the roads.

Freight trains began moving shortly after last midnight carrying badly needed foodstuffs and housing materials to all parts of the country. Passenger service from here was reinstated at about 4 P.M. Meanwhile, the pressure on the inter-urban bus lines slackened.

The strikers agreed to go back when Communications Minister David Pinkas promised that the government would deal with the workers’ demands within two weeks Earlier, the Histadrut, which had outlawed the strike, had threatened the men with expulsion from the trade union movement and from the various Histadrut social welfare institutions. The strike, which began on a small scale Sunday, spread rapidly on Monday and Tuesday in protest against the labor federation’s threat to the original strikers.

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