The management of the state-owned Bulgarian State Railways Holding (BDZ Holding) announced that it intends to lay off 2,000 administrative, repair and maintenance staff.
This is part of a larger cost-reduction measure which includes that tickets prices will be raised 9% on average with the price of business tickets rising by 15%. Additionally, the number of operating trains will be reduced by December 2011.
The trade unions firmly oppose the measures. They criticize that they expect the actual layoff to be 3,000 while raising ticket prices and cancelations of trains will deprive people from the option of traveling on trains to work and school. Workers of the Bulgarian State-owned Railways, BDZ Holding, will start a nation-wide strike on November 24th in order to protest against the planned lay-offs. The strike will leave the Bulgarian railroad system paralyzed given that trains will stop running from 8 am to 4 pm. The decision to take up the strike had been made unanimously by the two major Bulgarian trade unions - the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa).
Bulgarian State Railways (Balgarski Darzhavni Zheleznitsi - BDZ) is a state-owned railway company operating domestic and international rail services mainly by means of its own locomotives, coaches and other railway machines. In early 2002, the Bulgarian authorities ended the BDZ monopoly in railway transport by splitting the company into two separate state companies - one managing the state railway infrastructure (National Railway Infrastructure Company) and another railway carrier (BDZ).BDZ has a workforce of 13,000.