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Hungarian rail strike to continue after negotiation failure
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09:29, February 06, 2008

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Hungarian rail workers are to continue their two-day strike, which reduced train operations to less than a quarter on Tuesday, after talks between a major union and Hungarian State Railways (MAV) failed to solve differences over wage demands, the state news agency MTI reported.

The head of The Railway Workers' Free Trade Union (VDSZSZ) Istvan Gasko told local press that, in the second consecutive day of the strike, the union and MAV representatives failed again to reach an agreement on workers' demands and even on a minimum level of services on Tuesday.

VDSZSZ is one of four railway unions and represents about 10,000 of MAV's 36,000 workers. The union is demanding a one-off payment of 250,000 forints (approx 1,500 U.S. dollars) per employee from MAV's revenue from a privatization deal, as well as a 10 percent pay-rise on top of the 6.9 percent already agreed on.

VDSZSZ has called a meeting for late afternoon on Tuesday, Gasko said.

MAV is attempting to compensate for the canceled services by running buses, but many commuters are turning to their cars instead.

The strike also hit international services, with the Moscow-Budapest train forced to sit at the border for almost 24 hours. Ukrainian rail operators have warned passengers against travel to Hungary.

Source: Xinhua

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