Strikes hit Hungarian transport industry

Strikes hit Hungarian transport industry

A strike over pay by Hungarian rail workers severely disrupted traffic on most services on Monday and flights from Budapest Airport were delayed by a six-day-old strike for better working conditions.

Railway workers' union VDSZSZ extended a strike it launched in eastern Hungary to all lines after 1700 GMT on Sunday to demand higher wages and a one-off bonus from the sale of state railway firm MAV's freight unit.

The strike, which initially caused only minor disruptions on national rail services, brought almost all local and international trains to a halt on Monday, with three of Budapest's four main rail terminals practically at a standstill. MAV said.

"Domestic express and intercity rail traffic has practically ceased, and international trains are not leaving for Hungary," MAV communications director Imre Kavalecz said in a statement.

The Independent Railway Workers Union has held several strikes over the past year demanding higher wages and a bonus of 250,000 forints ($1,260) for each worker from the sale of a MAV subsidiary to Austrian national railway OEBB.

Separately, a strike by two unions at Budapest Airport entered its sixth day on Monday and was expected to cause delays on most departing flights, the airport operator said.

On Sunday, Hungarian airline Malev said it had scrapped 12 of its flights scheduled for Monday. The airport operator said on its website Italian carrier Alitalia also cancelled a morning flight scheduled for Rome.

Posted By

Ed
Dec 15 2008 21:29

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Steven.
Dec 31 2008 01:43