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Hungarian Railway Workers Strike Over Planned Closure Of Couchette And Restaurant Cars

By noon on Tuesday all international trains operating restaurant cars and sleeper carriages departed as planned and according to schedule, the Hungarian state rail company (MÁV) said, commenting on a strike today held by the catering workers expected to affect 18-20 international train services.

The railway workers union (VDSzSz) announced a work stoppage by catering service workers from 8am until 11pm in protest against MÁV plans to terminate couchette and restaurant cars, aimed at offsetting company losses. MÁV has said it plans to terminate some catering and sleeper services from Dec. 10 and reduce others. The company redeployed workers from its passenger services center to make up for the lost work of striking employees.

The union announced a work stoppage by catering service workers from 8 am until 11 pm on Tuesday, to force MÁV to abandon its plans of terminating couchette and restaurant wagons aimed at offsetting their loss-making operation over the past years, the deputy leader of the union said. The measure would lead to a more than 50 percent cut in the service’s staff, Balázs Bárány said, adding that the union demanded to know how had the catering service turned from a previously profitable unit into a loss-making operation.

MÁV informed news agency MTI that it would either terminate or reduce catering and sleeper services in international trains in a cost- cutting effort as of December 10. The reduction will affect several international trains, MÁV said adding that its Metropol EuroNight service will be operated only to Prague instead of Berlin from the winter. It, however, will not affect the international Adria, Beograd, Dacia, Hungaria, Kalman Imre, Varsovia és Wiener Walzer services, the company noted.

via MTI