Traffic chaos in Bucharest today after public transportation drivers’ sudden strike

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Employees of STB, the public transport company in Bucharest, went on a general strike on Thursday morning, the unionists saying that their demands regarding the salary increases have not been resolved.

Buses, trolleybuses and trams in Bucharest did not run this morning. Thousands of people, who left home in the first hour, were stranded at stations where transport was no longer available and took the subway stations by storm.

Metrorex, the metro public company, has announced that it will put all available trains into service and will run during peak hours at the lowest possible time.

Taxis and ride sharing services were also crowded this morning, with some drivers taking advantage of the STB strike and asking higher rates due to increased demand.

The director of the transport company from the Capital replied that the average gross salary is 7,000 lei, accused the trade unionists of illegal actions and talked about fuel thefts and problems with ordering parts. In his turn, the general mayor of the Capital, Nicușor Dan, says that the strike is an illegal one, orchestrated by the representative trade union led by the union leader Vasile Petrariu, a PSD councilor. The mayor announced they had notified the court over the strike and there are also criminal complaints against the trade union leaders.

STB director Adrian Criț said : “The union leaders speculated on certain issues and did not take into account the real situation. Our employees have a valid collective bargaining agreement, their rights are respected and they have to fulfill their obligations. The vehicles are cleaner, follow the transport schedule. We have moved procurement procedures for electric vehicles and road infrastructure. Working conditions are improved. We are open to dialogue. Employees need to know that they also have obligations. The people of Bucharest must not suffer.

This strike is illegal in pandemic conditions. There are documents that will be the basis of a criminal complaint and will be against some union leaders. Employees are manipulated by the union. I think employees want to keep their jobs. If they want salary increases, they must perform the activity.”

In his tun, Bucharest mayor Nicusor Dan stated that the strike is an illegal and very serious action that affects many Bucharest residents. He stressed that it is not a spontaneous strike, but an action orchestrated by the union. The mayor-general directly accused the leader Vasile Petrariu and said that he has evidence against him and will file criminal complaints.

“The action in court is filed with the Bucharest Tribunal by STB, which demands that the action be found to be illegal. Regarding the labor dispute, it will be a request for intervention from the municipality, because the strike affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of Bucharest residents.

It is not a spontaneous strike, but orchestrated by the union, we have evidence, we have written and filed criminal complaints against the union leaders who orchestrated. It is a political strike, the main person in charge is Petrariu, PSD councilor in the General Council. We have evidence against him.

I call on drivers to understand the seriousness of their action and to resume the activity. Participating drivers know that they are open to dialogue, but not through union leaders. I am waiting for them to appoint representatives to talk to,”said Nicusor Dan.

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