Talks Saturday night between Pi Glilot fuel depot employees and Histadrut officials over ending a seven-day strike ended with no results, Israel Radio reported Sunday. The Infrastructure Ministry has so far not entered negotiations with Pi Glilot but will most likely meet with the workers this week.

The radio said that gas stations were being directly supplied by gas company refineries in Haifa and Ashdod in order to prevent a gasoline shortage.

Growing gasoline shortages were reported Saturday at stations in the Jerusalem area and in the south, particularly with 95 octane fuel. The shortage was made worse following an order by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs instructing that the fuel supply from gas company refineries in Haifa and Ashdod be halted due to the Sabbath.

However, gas station attendents in Jerusalem said Saturday night that there was enough gasoline for the coming days. "During the evening [Saturday] a tanker from Tel Aviv came and delivered 30,000 liters to us. We don't think that there will be a shortage in the coming days," the attendents said at one of the gas stations in the city.

In light of the strike and the order, gas stations increased the quantity of independent pumping, but were not able to meet the demands of all of the drivers.

Gas station workers reported a shortage of 95 octane fuel at a large number of stations in Be'er Sheva. Pi Glilot officials said late Friday afternoon that most of the gas stations in the Dimona area were completely out of gasoline. Shortages in the center of the country were less pronounced, as few people came to gas stations.

Due to the strike, the gas companies can supply diesel and gasoline to all the stations in the country using only the Haifa depot, but were restricted from doing so on Saturday. Fueling depots in the center of the country, and in the Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva areas, have been closed since Monday.

Paz company CEO Modi Ben-Shach said Friday that despite the fact that the gas companies are operating the fueling installations and the Ashdod and Haifa refineries 24 hours a day, in the long run they would not be able to supply the entire country's gas demand.

Ben-Shach called upon the government to quickly reach an agreement with the Pi Glilot company to stop the strike.

The workers are protesting forced vacation plans for 21 of the firm's 170 employees, as well as the closing of depots in Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva.

Pi Glilot intends to dismiss staff as a result of reforms in the fuel industry that have forced the company to reduce prices by about 20%, costing the company some NIS 30 million.

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