Russian Drivers Seek to Double their Roubles

16 May 2008

Russian train drivers are to receive a 12 per cent pay rise this year although authorities claim this is completely unrelated to the threat of industrial action by the Russian Trade Union of Rail Engine Drivers.


The proposed 12 per cent deal is only fractionally above the official inflation rate which currently stands at 11.9 per cent. However union boss Yevgeny Kulikov, has called for a second day of strikes after last month’s action in Moscow. Drivers are seeking to double their wages to 60,000 rouble (£1,293) a month. Russia’s average wage is currently 16,428 roubles (£354) a month.


The union represents about 2,000 railways employees, with the largest railway union having 1.2 million members who are not supporting the strike. However Kulikov claims “It will be the same as on April 29 -- a complete stoppage of suburban trains -- but for the whole country, plus cargo services, which will lead to losses for companies with orders.” Russian Railways are refusing to talk to the union and are condemning the industrial action as illegal.


Train strikes are relatively rare in Russia and before last month’s action there had not been any industrial action on the railways in Moscow since 2002.

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