General strike at Bucharest’s underground

The company’s employees are requesting a 20 percent salary increase in 2010. According to current grids, the average net base salary is RON 1,600 (€372). Bonuses raise the average net income to RON 2,600 (€605).

Metrorex’s management said they cannot raise salaries, for lack of a 2010 budget, and the Minister of Transports, Radu Berceanu, said that employee demands are exaggerated, given that their salaries are much higher than those of other social categories.

“I do not believe this is a fair comparison. I believe that every job must be paid based on the workload included. Each of us wants, in exchange for work performed, to be able to afford something besides paying rent, food, and the childrens’s school,” said one of Metrorex’s employees.

At least 300,000 people were affected by this strike, which took place between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m., who had to use transportation means at the surface, taxis, or personal cars to get to work.

The situation will remain unchanged today, considering that the legitimacy of the protest, contested by Metrorex’s management, is due to be discussed in court this morning, and the request for suspending the strike will be decided no earlier than Thursday morning.

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