Subway general strike as of Wednesday on undetermined period

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The subway trade unionists have announced that they have set the general strike for an undetermined period as of next Wednesday from 4:00h to 16:00h, underlining they hope to defuse the collective labour conflict for avoid inconvenience for the passengers.

“The USLM trade union General Council met and has decided the continuation of the collective labour dispute through the general strike as of Wednesday, November 21, 2018, between 04.00h-16.00h, on undetermined period. We also consider that these two days (Monday and Tuesday – our note) could help to defuse the collective labour conflict in order to avoid the inconvenience for the passengers,” Ion Rădoi, president USLM trade union, said in a press release.

The subway employees staged a warning strike on Thursday, with trains stopped between 4.00h-6.00h.

The subway employees request a wage increase of 42% and are discontent with the deadlock of negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement.

Minister Lucian Sova said on Wednesday that “the strike is not for the subway employees, it is for maintaining the privileges the shopkeepers in the subway stations have for more than 15 years.”

Sova said the negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement started several months ago and the main request was the wages to increase by 42%, although the wages have increased every year in the past four years. The Transport Minister said the gross average wage at Metrorex is of RON 7,300 for the technical staff, RON 8,000 for mechanics and RON 5,300 for the night shift, but the employees have other benefits as well such as meal vouchers of RON 12 per day, settlements of 75% of the holiday tickets, settlements of 50% of the railway and auto subscriptions, settlements of 99% for a hotel in Busteni owned by the trade union, railway passes.

Minister Sova said the negotiations are ‘blackmail’ and that, if Metrorex accepts the trade unionists’ demands, the subway ticket prices should increase from RON 2.5 to RON 4. “This is unacceptable,” he said, adding that the wage increases should be done according to productivity increases.

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