Egged Chairman Wins Vote

The chairman of the Egged bus cooperative's secretariat, Arie Feldman, will stay in his job for another four years, after winning Tuesday's election in the Northern district. Feldman, leader of the "Change" electoral list, beat Moshe Bloch and his "Our Egged" list.

Egged spokesman Ron Ratners said Feldman won 70 percent of the votes in the northern region. The other four regions did not hold elections since the other candidates did not meet the minimum electoral requirements.

Egged has 2,350 members with voting rights, 900 of whom are in the northern district, the cooperative's largest. In addition, 85 members of the cooperatives assembly were also chosen, 33 from the north.

Ratner said all members of the assembly belong to Feldman's list, and next week they will meet to elect the 19 members of Egged management.

This year's elections were quite wild and different from previous ones, especially in the north. This was the result of growing vocal opposition within Egged to the previous management. Dissidents say not only did Feldman not improve the members' situation in the past four years, he made them worse. In the past four years the number of members has dropped by 1,000. The opponents say Feldman cut pay and benefits for cooperative members and even retirees' pensions.

Egged has suffered a number of blows in the past few years, including the intifada, but also because of competition on its inter-city bus routes, ending years of being a monopoly.