Around 300,000 passengers will be forced to take alternative commuting modes tomorrow.

The Government passed last week the 2009 budget of Metrorex, which envisages 23% pay rise, effective as of end-2008. The budget plan also includes the annulment of the distribution of holiday and gift vouchers. source photo: Constantin Barbu

The union of workers claims the negotiation of the collective agreement by adding 20% to their monthly pay. At the end of October, the metro workers union (USLM) demanded a pay rise of up to 26%.

The last increase in the pay packages for the metro workers was of 23% in November 2008. Ion Radoi, president of USLM said the median salary of a Metrorex worker is 1,500-1,600 lei.

According to USLM, the productivity of the underground train labor increased by 30% from 2008. “Four new stations were opened, without increasing headcount. Labor productivity has increased by around 30% this year compared to 2008, without any additional cost from Metrorex. In 2009, the number of passengers increased from 300,000 per day in 2008 to 650,000 per day now” said Radoi.

The Ministry of Finance and European Investment Bank have finalized Friday the negotiations for €395 million loan to support the modernization of Bucharest metro network, Line 5 Drumul Taberei - Pantelimon, section Drumul Taberei - Universitate. The total value of the metro network modernization project is estimated at €883 million, and comprises the construction of Drumul Taberei – Pantelimon, section Drumul Taberei – Universitate as well as the acquisition of rolling stocks of 37 new subway trains that will operate on the line and replace the obsolete trains running on the existing network.

“EIB provides 45% of the total value of the project, while the state will provide the rest of the money. It is the most demanded metro line in Bucharest at the moment”, said the interim minister of finance, Gheorghe Pogea.