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Bulgaria's Railways Give up Sacking Workers over Financial Crisis

Date: 09.12.2008

Bulgaria's state railways have decided not to lay off workers over the effects of the global financial crisis after they held negotiations with the railway syndicates.

The news was announced Monday by the press service of the National Railway Infrastructure Company NKZI.

NKZI had crafted a program for dealing with the financial crisis consequences by sacking 1 000 workers, who were close to retirement.

This measure and the delayed payment of the October salaries urged the workers last week to threaten an all-out strike.

The Podkrepa Labor Confederation and the Confederation of Independent Bulgarian Syndicates convinced Monday the NKZI management to give up the sacking of workers in exchange for an agreement to limit the number of new recruits in place of the workers scheduled to retire next year.

The NKZI Director Anton Ginev has promised that the delayed October salaries would be paid to the workers by Wednesday. The November salaries would be paid on December 22, 23, and 29, and the advance payments for December would be paid by December 15.

Bulgaria's state railway companies NKZI and BDZ are hurt badly by the effects of the global financial crisis, and the crisis with the steel mill Kremikovtzi. The company's freight revenue is expected to go down by 20-25% in the first half of 2009.

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