Syndicates: Bulgaria May Be Paralyzed by Railway Workers' Strike

Business | October 15, 2009, Thursday // 11:06|  views

Bulgarian railway workers may blockade stations around the country over social demands. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria might be blockaded by striking railway workers in the coming days as the two state-owned railway companies are practically bankrupt.

The trade unions of the two companies – BDZ (Bulgarian State Railways) and NKZI (National Company Railway Infrastructure) have each decided to hold strikes over the delayed salaries, the planned workers’ layoffs, and demands for social benefits.

The syndicate leaders, however, are due to meet on Friday in order to decide whether they are going to stage one large, nation-wide strike, and when they can do so. Trade unionists have announced they wanted to start striking earlier but protests had to be delayed because of the rules under the Collective Disputes Act.

The trade unions have not ruled out blockading the major railway stations around the country, and letting through only international trains.

Bulgaria’s Transport Minister, Alexander Tsvetkov, has blamed the deplorable situation of the railways on purposeful actions by his predecessor Petar Mutafchiev, and the recently fired head of the BDZ, Hristo Monov. The total deficit of the two companies is expected to reach about BGN 490 M by the end of 2009.

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Tags: BDZ, NKZI, railways, Strike, protest, workers, delayed salaries, Alexander Tsvetkov, Transport Minister, trade unions, syndicate


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