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The Histadrut labor federation and the Transportation Ministry agreed yesterday to postpone the privatization of licensing procedures until September.

The licensing office's 800 employees therefore decided to end a nine-day strike and resume service to the public.

In negotiations between Transportation Ministry director general Ben Zion Salman and ministry labor union chief Yossi Nizri, it was also decided to suspend for three months a plan to outsource written driving tests. During that period, ministry officials and the union will discuss the status of 55 employees engaged in these exams.

The ministry also agreed to recognize that already published tenders may be revocable. The union and the ministry will hold talks on vehicle ownership transfers, liens, driver's license issuance and renewals - all of which have already been published - through February 15, aiming to ensure workers' rights and find alternatives to the outsourcing.

If the sides reach an agreement, the ministry will be able to open the bids in the tenders. If no agreement is reached, the ministry will delay the tenders until no later than September 1.

It was also agreed that the Transportation Ministry would suspend a plan to layoff half the 90 workers on the payroll of the Meteorological Service.