Minister of Transport Israel Katz is planning to hold a press conference on Sunday to announce the establishment of a new authority to deal with Israel Railways. New proposals will include a driving test for new train drivers.This follows a series of incidents and accidents on trains, and also a threat from Katz to temporarily stop train service if safety defects were not corrected.
The Katz railway reform plan includes increasing supervision and enforcement of railway rules, raising hiring standards for new employees (for example, requiring train drivers to pass comprehensive training and a driving test,) ongoing inspections of train cars, etc. The new authority will supervise the railway.
For the time being, the new plan does not include firing employees. Katz said that he does not wish to privatize Israel Railways, only to improve safety immediately. The worker's union apparently opposes installing cameras and GPS systems in the driver's compartment, as well as other procedures that would make control and supervision stricter.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 9, 2011
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