Two-week Hungarian railway strike ends

The management of national railway MAV and the majority of unions struck a wage agreement late on Tuesday, bringing an end to a strike lasting just over two weeks.

The main union VDSZSZ, however, refused to sign the wage agreement, as the union is still pressing for a 7 percent wage increase. The union is also demanding a share for each worker of revenues resulting from the privatisation of MAV's cargo unit.

Deputy chairman of VDSZSZ Balazs Barany said that despite the signed agreement, a renewal of the strike was still possible in January.

He added that besides earlier demands, the union is now calling for MAV to cease firing temporary workers, which they see as punishment for involvement in the strike. MAV earlier denied firing workers because of participation in the strike.

MAV's management signed a collective contract with six of the company's unions as well as an agreement on a 4.1 percent pay rise in 2009 with five unions. In addition to the wage rise, the management agreed to raise the limit on annual non-wage benefits, such as meal vouchers, to 270,000 forints (EUR 1,015) per employee in 2009 from 250,000 in 2008.

The collective agreement is in effect from January 1, 2009 until January 31, 2010.

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Jan 1 2009 00:00


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Jan 2 2009 18:15

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