Management & Operations

Bucharest Strike Shuts Down Public Transport

Posted on July 7, 1999

Repeating a scene too often seen elsewhere, public transport trade unions went on strike, shutting down most bus, tram and trolleybus services in Bucharest. Romanian media reported that millions of commuters in the nation’s capital were stranded. Although the city’s metro service, run by another company, was unaffected by the strike and still operated, lengthy delays were reported on the three-line network as commuters shifted to the metro, their own cars and taxis. It has been a scene too often repeated of late throughout the world, usually prompted by privatization’s effects on job security. Although privatization is not the issue over which workers went on strike in Bucharest, they share one common grievance with others: lack of pay and unfit working conditions. The striking bus and tram operators in Bucharest are seeking double their current salaries. Several reports have revealed that the city’s government owes millions of dollars to Regia Autonoma de Transport Bucaresti, the autonomous public-sector surface public transport company. As a result, it cannot pay drivers this month.

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