The subway employees’ union announced on Thursday, November 15, that it would start the general strike on Wednesday, November 21, for an undetermined period, after failing to reach an agreement with the company’s management and the Transport Ministry on wage increases.
If nothing changes until then, the subway will be closed on Wednesday from 4:00 until 16:00, local Mediafax reported. The union leaders said, however, that they hope to reach an agreement with the company’s management in the next two days and cancel the strike.
Update: The protest announced for Wednesday will most likely be canceled after the Bucharest Tribunal ruled that the warning strike organized on Thursday, November 15, was illegal, local Digi24 reported.
Update 2: The subway employees’ union said it will go ahead with the strike on Wednesday, November 21, Stirileprotv.ro reported. The union said it was willing to negotiate but was waiting to see who will be the new transport minister. Lia Olguta Vasilescu was proposed for the post on November 19. The Bucharest City Hall said it would supplement the over ground public transport but it is not likely that this will fully compensate for the lack of subway transport.
Update 3: The union said on November 20 it would suspend the strike until a new transport minister is appointed. Later, the same day, president Klaus Iohannis declined to confirm Lia Olguta Vasilescu for the post.
Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea also asked the Transport Ministry, which owns the Bucharest subway operator Metrorex, to find solutions for solving this conflict, as a strike at the subway would seriously impact the city’s residents.
Over half a million people use the subway every day in Bucharest.