Bulgarian Transport Minister Upbeat about Chances for Railway Strike Ending

Domestic | December 7, 2011, Wednesday // 09:24|  views

"Strike," the poster reads. Photo by dnevnik.bg

An agreement may be reached on Wednesday which will lead to the end of the ongoing strike in the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ), the country's Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski reckons.

The meeting between BDZ's governing body and the syndicates will begin at 11 am on Wednesday. The collective labor contract from 2009 is expected to be a key point when it comes to reaching an agreement, Moskovski believes.

There are a total of 80 points in the collective labor contract, 45 of which are debated. However, according to the Minister, the differences are possible to overcome.

The toughest point in the negotiations is expected to be the bonus system which is planned to be implemented in the summer of 2012.

The BDZ strike has cost the company approximately BGN 1.3 M, Moskovski pointed out on Wednesday in an interview for the Bulgarian National Television.

He also stated that the slight concession on the part of German BDZ creditor KfW has been a positive development in the case.

Railway workers are protesting against cabinet plans to lay off 2,000 of them in a bid to financially straighten the company, which has fallen deep in depth, with amounts owned estimated at more than BGN 770 M, with about a third overdue.

Apart from the shedding of employers, the Bulgarian state has voiced intentions to privatize the "Freight Transportation" unit of the Bulgarian State Railways company.

This has met widespread criticism, as the BDZ "Freight Transportation" unit actually makes sizeable net profits, in contrast with the losing BDZ "Passenger Transportation" unit.

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Tags: Bulgarian State Railways, BDZ, Strike, railway workers, agreement, collective labor contract, KfW, freight transportation


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