Unions representing employees of the Bucharest metro system are planning to go on a general strike for at least one day between November 5 and 10, unless their collective work contract is improved, according to union leader Ion Radoi. Negotiations with Metrorex leadership are ongoing, with a new round scheduled for Friday.
Radoi said that the employees are unhappy with both their salaries and the work conditions, and that the strike may be extended to several days if their demands are not met. Their current contract ends on October 27.
In the case of a strike, only one third of the network’s trains will run, which would cause chaos for commuters throughout Bucharest. Over 600,000 people use the metro system every day.
Metrorex employees are asking for a 42 percent raise in their salaries, while the company made an initial offer of 8 percent.
The average gross wage in the company is RON 7,500, which includes a 50 percent hazard pay for difficult conditions. In the past years, according to Digi24, the employees have been given yearly 10 percent raises as a result of their union-led negotiations.
Metrorex employs around 4,500 people, but the union says around 700 more are needed for operations to run smoothly.