Update: Subway trade unions threaten with general strike in November. Negotiations fail, next round on Monday

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The Subway trade unions could organize general strike during November 10-15, if the negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement will fail, union leader Ion Radoi has announced Friday morning.

The current agreement expires on October 27. The trade unionists request a wage increase of 42% and improvement of labour conditions, whereas the management’s offer was of 8% wage increase.

The negotiations conducted on Friday between the trade unionists and the Metrorez management have failed to reach an agreement on the collective bargaining agreement, Ion Radoi has announced later in the day.

“After nearly four hours of negotiations we haven’t reached consensus on the collective bargaining agreement. We’ve set another meeting on Monday, as of 14.00h at the Transport Ministry, in order to continue negotiations. I believe Minister Sova will not be present on Monday. He did not attend the meetings. We are to negotiate important issues in the contract, from the wage increase to vacations, seniority, etc,” Ion Radoi said.

The Subway Free Trade Union (USLM) picketed in August, for four days, the Transport Ministry and two days the Government offices in order to draw attention on the problems faced by Metrorex.

Metrorex has about 4,500 employees.

“We deal with all kinds of promises from the leader of the governing party, who says wages will double next year, promises from the Labour Minister. (…) We’ve conducted a comparison between the subways in Brussels and in Bucharest. For us the salary is of EUR 2.46 per hour, in Brussels is of EUR 15.5 per hour. Actually we are talking about a gross wage of RON 3,300 per month. In Brussels the salary is seven times higher, the work is the same,” Ion Radoi said on Friday.

He added that the number of Metrorex employees is 4,560 but the minimum is of 5,000.

“In 1990 there were 6,400 employees. Now we have more stations and we need 700 employees more,” Ion Radoi said.

Asked about the agglomeration at rush hours, he said the interval between trains will be cut down to 90 seconds. Radoi blamed the problems on the staff shortage.



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