[UPDATE] CFR protest shuts down all rail traffic on Wednesday morning for two hours

Newsroom 23/04/2014 | 10:50

[UPDATE]

The CFR employee protest affected 278 trains, according to information from CFR.

“Between 7 and 9 am, as a result of the spontaneous protest started by the members of several union organisation, 278 trains were halted in their departure stations or intermediary stations. We mention that during the protest no trains were stopped on their routes”, according to the rail company.

Trains were rescheduled to depart from their train stations after 9 am, when the protest ended.

No trains will run in Romania on Wednesday between 07:00 and 09:00, Gheorghe Fratica, union president, announced on Tuesday evening. CFR’s employees are set to suspend their work voluntarily, as a result of the failure in negotiations for creating a new collective work contract.

“The protest is not organised through the unions. We’re talking about a voluntary break in the work schedule for all those involved in train circulation, to draw attention to the fact that in the last five years there have been absolutely no salary raises. The negotiations for the new collective contract have failed, after we met on Tuesday with the minister of Transport. (…) Another meeting will take place Wednesday at 5 pm”, according to Fratica.

Iulian Mantescu, the president of the Federation for Train Mechanics, said that he has “information” on the temporary break in work but he emphasized the protest is not being organised through the unions.  Union federations in rail transport warned that they could go on strike ever since April 15, if the new collective contracts are not signed by then, keeping in mind the employees’ requests. Among the workers’ complaints are the cancellation of their right to travel by train for free, as well as the possible layoff of 2,500 people if the new collective contracts are not signed.

CFR Calatori informed the media shortly after protest was announced that the company administration offered a pay increase of 4 percent, but the union leaders asked for 10 percent.

“CFR Calatori’s administration would like to inform that for signing a new collective work contract we’ve followed the letter of the law. Negotiations between the administration and authorized union organisations started on February 19 and went on for 60 calendar days as required by law. During the negotiations we’ve settled on 95 percent of the provisions contained in the new contract”, according to a CFR Calatori press release.

According to the transporter, the administration made a final offer on Tuesday which includes improving the salary structure in a way that it would fit within the budget and excluded any further loss of jobs.

“The offer made is based on including individual earnings in a raise, mainly 4 percent and no firings of personnel” CFR Calatori explained.

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