The Bucharest Tribunal has admitted on Thursday the request of the Bucharest Transport Company (STB) to suspend the strike started by union-affiliated strikers, with the activity in public transport in Bucharest to be resumed immediately.
The decision of the court is binding and produces effects starting with the moment of rendering.
The strike started Thursday morning, with bus, trolleybus and tram drivers from the Bucharest Public Transport company (STB) stopped the work, being discontent with the fact that their salary requests were not solved.
As a reply, the STB leadership stated that interrupting work is illegal and the hours not worked by the involved staff will not be paid. In addition, the STB leadership submitted to the Tribunal a request calling on the judges to find the unlawfulness of the protest organized by STB employees and to suspend the strike started by the trade unionists.
One day before, several hundred trade unionists from the STB attended a protest rally in front of the institution’s headquarters, demanding the resignation of the general manager.
President of the Bucharest Transporters’ Union: Not strike, but voluntary work stoppage
The protest of the Bucharest Transport Company (STB) employees represents a voluntary work stoppage carried out by the employees and not a strike organized by the trade union, the president of the Bucharest Transporters’ Union, Vasile Petrariu told a press conference on Thursday.
“We are not talking about a strike, we also know what it means to start a collective labor dispute, leading to a general strike, we are talking about a voluntary work stoppage, because the more than 1,000 employees who were yesterday [Wednesday ed.n.] at the headquarters, they warned and said that they are determined to go all the way. What this means: the resignation of the general manager,” said Vasile Petrariu, according to Agerpres.
“In the end, we have to understand that it is the people who make the decision. The union has not started a collective labor dispute. We are not talking about a strike, to be very clear. It is not the union that has organized, but the people will decide. It is very important, because all the speculations that are being made are referring to this – ‘the union has organized a strike’. No, the union did not organize any strike. The union has been trying to manage things for the past two months, I have been drawing attention that we are no longer in a position to manage things, and we ask that you take action. They did not take measures with the material base, they did not take measures with the working conditions. I came to work today at 4:00 because I was informed that the employees will not go out on the route,” mentioned Vasile Petrariu.
First step towards resuming public transport in Bucharest is general director dismissal
The first step towards resumption of work by the employees of the Bucharest Transport Company (STB) is the dismissal of the company’s general director, the chair of the Bucharest Transporters’ Union, Vasile Petrariu also told the press conference.
“This conflict can be solved instantly if those who placed him director general, and I mean the PNL [National Liberal Party], assume this responsibility and dismiss [him], meaning the Administration Board of the STB (…). This would be the first step by which we could unlock this relation and the discussions that would lead to the resumption of work. As a first measure, that would be the solution. The STB vehicles will run their routes again when the general director leaves. Public transport will resume only when the leadership changes, that’s clear,” said the leader of the STB union.
“The salary of a vehicle driver is around 4,200 RON, given that he works Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, overtime. Thus, he doesn’t get more than 3,000-3,500 net, which means 5-6,000 gross. If that’s a very high wage, given that that man has no time off, gets up at 3 in the morning and arrives home when he gets home, at 3-4 in the afternoon, then so be it. But the one who is doing the service is most apt to appreciate if the money that he earns working overtime is sufficient or not,” mentioned Vasile Petrariu.
“The first thing that people are requesting is the negotiation of a new collective agreement, which would ensure a wage increase of at least 10%, which would compensate for the rate of inflation and the prices that have gone up. They [STB leadership – e.n.] didn’t earmark anything [in this year’s budget – e.n.] in what regards a wage increase. They only ensured it for themselves, and this is not normal. Moreover, speaking of working conditions, they are not up to task,” said Vasile Petrariu.
“The authorities have situated themselves in a position of force, and I’m referring here to the General Mayor, who has no direct powers in the decision-making in the company, but as it is known, he makes calls and imposes his own people,” mentioned the union leader.