Moldova Railway Employees Number Halved in 4 Years

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Unable to cope with the payment of debts to employees, Moldova Railway is again going for staff reduction. 60 people were dismissed. According to the director of the company, all of them are pensioners. In less than 4 years, the number of Railway employees has almost halved and most of those who continue to work there have not received any salaries for at least three months. “Until today, 60 people were dismissed. They are no active staff, those who work full time. Here we are talking about pensioners, we have a lot of them. These are people who are 70 or even 75 years old. In the first stages, we will start with elderly people, because they have pensions and so they will not be left without means of subsistence. Yes, of course, it’s probably not as much as they need, but in any case, they are not left with nothing,” Acting Director of Moldova’s Railway Serghei Tomșa said. The cessation of cooperation with pensioners is the result of the merger of smaller company’s branches with larger ones. This is done so that the Railway of Moldova could function and overcome the crisis. The acting director of the enterprise says this. The wave of dismissals is not the last one. Dismissals are also expected after the southern section of the railway is restored. “After the completion of the first stage, say from Bender to Basarabeasca, we will again analyze and reduce the number of staff, because that is the way things work after the rehabilitation of a road section - the number of staff and infrastructure maintenance costs is reduced. We are on this path and we have some more ideas that we would like to implement. We are moving on the path of reforms,” Tomșa added. While the company is trying to optimize costs and find ways to make money, the head of the Railway Employees Trade Unions Federation is convinced that the state should provide additional support to the industry. “There are no volumes, there is no money. It is an independent structure, not budgetary. All the problems come from this. We need to support ourselves, but we also need to receive a little from the state. This is what happens in Ukraine and Romania,” the head of the Railway Employees Trade Unions Federation, Ion Zaporojan, said. The minister of infrastructure and regional development said on the air of a private TV channel that the state took into account the expenditures on the railway infrastructure, as at that day trains moved at a maximum speed of 38 km per hour. However, the budget was not ready to cover the debts. Today, Moldova Railways owes 70 million lei to its employees. Most of them have not received any payments for three months in a row. Employees in only 8 branches, 35 in total, received their March salaries. The company’s management hopes to partially cover its debts by raising 200 million from the sale of old locomotives and wagons, as well as scrap metal. Moldova Railway has long had financial problems and wage arrears - back in 2020, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the Railway employees protested in several parts of the country. In less than 4 years, the number of employees at the company has dropped from almost 10 thousand to 5 thousand and 600.