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Public transport workers to strike Wednesday

Jan. 8, 2013 9:47 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 9, 2013 6:33 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Public transport workers across the West Bank will go on strike on Wednesday, saying the government failed to respond positively to their demands.

Spokesman of the public transport committee Ibrahim Awadallah told Ma'an on Tuesday the ministry of transportation had stopped all contact with the union for more than ten days.

He said while the union had halted strikes two months ago when the government promised to study their demands, they were now resuming as no positive steps had been taken.

The agreement signed with the ministry, he said, included reduction of fuel prices, reduction of taxes, license fees, parking fees, trailers’ fees and insurance fees.

Meanwhile the transport minister on Tuesday briefed a cabinet meeting on dialogue efforts, and the government asked the minister of labor to take over talks with the transport union.

The Palestinian Authority government meeting urged the unions not to follow through with the strike.

Participants in Wednesday's action, according to Awadallah, will be the general union of bus companies, the general union of taxi services, the general union of quarries, and the general union of heavy duty transport.

A series of public transport strikes ground the West Bank to a halt several times in September 2012, amid wider demonstrations protesting the rising cost of living.

The transport minister had threatened to sue the union through the courts after the strikes dragged on, while PA premier agreed to cancel most of the fuel price rises that sparked the protests.

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