CFR warning strike: Trains stopped for two hours throughout the country


278 passenger trains were affected by the strike that the members of several railway unions resorted to yesterday morning. Railway workers stopped working for two hours, after the failure of the negotiations on a new collective labor contract. During the two-hour strike passengers were forced to wait until activity resumed or to find other means of transportation, in which case they will later recover the money they paid on tickets.
According to a press communique issued by the “CFR” National Railway Company, no train stopped between stations during the spontaneous strike. Gheorghe Fratica, the president of the Commercial Transport Federation, stated that the members of his federation voluntarily stopped working, with no passenger and freight trains circulating from 7 to 9 AM. “Starting at 9 AM all trains affected by the protest in Bucharest, Craiova, Timisoara, Cluj, Brasov, Iasi, Galati and Constanta resumed their operations,” the aforementioned source pointed out. Fratica claims that yesterday’s action is meant as a warning for the leadership of the CFR and the Transportation Ministry in order for the collective work contracts to be signed. The union leader pointed out that in the last six years CFR employees lost over 30 per cent of their incomes, as well as other rights they previously had. “We hope to reach a consensus, in order not to be forced to start a labor conflict,” the union leader said, pointing out that this is being considered and more radical protest measures could be taken.
The protest did not come entirely by surprise, considering that the unions had announced as early as April 15 that they could start a collective labor conflict on April 23 unless the new collective labor contracts that would take into account the employees’ requests are signed. The union members’ reasons for dissatisfaction include the level of salaries, the elimination of the employees’ right to use the railways for free and the fact that failure to sign the new collective labour contracts could lead to the sacking of 2,500 CFR Marfa employees.
According to the CFR Calatori administration, the negotiations that started on February 19 and lasted 60 days led to the establishment of approximately 95 percent of the new collective labor contract’s stipulations. The CFR Calatori administration’s offer means an average salary hike of 4 percent and no collective layoffs. CFR Calatori claims however that the unions requested a salary hike of 10 percent.

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