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CFR workforce undergo gradual temporary unemploymentUpdated: 16-08-2010 | Economy

All the employees of passenger railway operator CFR Calatori have gradually been temporarily unemployed starting yesterday, August 16, Agerpres reports. The company workforce, about 15,000 in all, including the directors, received Wednesday 60-day temporary unemployment notifications, of which 44 working days, for a period of four months, time during which they will only receive 75 per cent of their full pay.

The decision was reached after the company announced six-month losses, and is seen as an attempt at redressing the company's tough financial situation, including staff layoffs. The measure targets such money-losing companies as CFR Calatori, CFR Marfa, CFR SA and Electrificare CFR, with job cuts ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 for the first company, 5,000, the second, at the level of both the central office and subordinated divisions, carriage maintenance and overhauling, 2,900 for the third and 1,000, the last respectively. Also, Transport Minister Radu Berceanu said none of the railway companies will operate layoffs and won't cut employee pay, if revenues rise.

"Revenues will increase if all travellers purchase tickets from ticket windows, instead of paying the 'godfather' < Romanian nickname for train conductor>, diesel oil is no longer stolen from diesel locomotives and if union leaders no longer have luxury cars, phones and offices," Berceanu said, while in Brosteni, Vrancea, where he attended the inauguration ceremony of some bridges destroyed by the floods in 2005. He also mentioned that last year, CFR revenues were 50 per cent down from 2008. Berceanu also holds that free rail passes to retired railway workers and their relatives should be cancelled. He stated that once the CFR strategy is ready, he will call union leaders for negotiations.

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