The fact that the 'Unitatea' Metro Free Trade Union (USLM) union blocks the Bucharest subway is a slap in the face of the entire of Romania, and when mafia interests are threatened, a handful of people fret over preserving privileges and sinecures, reads Transport Minister Catalin Drula's Facebook post on Friday morning, according to AGERPRES.
"An illegal action disrupted the life of an entire city. The fact that the USLM union blocks the Bucharest metro is a slap in the face of the entire of Romania. We are not just talking about the inhabitants of the Capital, who today could not travel by Metrorex subway trains. But all taxpayers who support through national budget subsidy the activity and, obviously, the company's salaries. The honest people who work at the subway came this morning to work for the benefit of the passengers. For them I have all the appreciation," underlines Catalin Drula.
He advises subway employees not to be fooled by pointing out that the well-being of the staff is not what is at stake by illegally occupying subway tracks.
The protest comes just one day after Metrorex announced that it had notified the company managing the commercial spaces inside the metro stations that, by April 2, these spaces must be released and handed over to the underground transport network administrator.
The company was stressing that the ongoing activities in the commercial spaces located in the evacuation route inside the subway premises "endanger the safety of people in case of emergency, as well as their fast and safe evacuation". According to Metrorex, they create an unfavorable environment for the traveling public by crowding goods outside the commercial space, overcrowding with combustible goods, alcoholic beverages and the sale of pastries.
In reply, the representatives of the 'Unitatea' Metro Free Trade Union (USLM) transmitted that all the subway shops were built according to the legislation in force, with the approval of Metrorex, and 80% of them are the property of the subway unions.
According to the cited source, the general manager of Metrorex, who was "parachuted in" politically, "may not have taken note of these issues, but we ask him not to come up with such "evidence of faith" to those who appointed him and should communicate to the ministry and the citizens that, through the draft budget he wants to impose as a sign of "loyalty", he will close Metro Line 5, although last year it was an important event for the Romanian Government, and by the massive dismissal of train mechanics the activity of Metro Line 2 will be blocked.
"Already, as of tomorrow, March 26, ten subway trains will not be going out due to lack of qualified personnel. Care for traffic safety and obtaining the necessary funds for proper operation must take precedence in the activity of the general manager, not care for those who appointed him to office," the trade unionists specified.
The number of daily commuters by subway in the Capital amounts to approximately 700,000.