Govt Offers Pay Rise to Sofia Drivers, Strike not Cancelled

Politics | May 11, 2007, Friday // 00:00
Bulgaria: Govt Offers Pay Rise to Sofia Drivers, Strike not Cancelled The Sofia public transport drivers will hold their strike on May 15, depite theact that the government has caved in to their protests. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

The heads of Sofia public transport companies have offered drivers a BGN 130 rise in wages in order to make them step back from their decision to go on a strike.

The companies will also give BGN 40 a month to every driver for food expenses during the working hours. The news came out at a press conference between the syndicates' representatives on one part and on the other the Sofia Minicipality councillors and representatives of the government.

The basis for thorough talks was laid, Transport Minister Petar Mutafchiev said, but the syndicate representatives replied the strike planned for May 15 will be held nevertheless.

The drivers will not back down from their decision to go on strike on, despite the fact that the government has caved in to their protests.

"We still don't know exactly what changes the government offers and we won't know it until they accept them and make them public," Pavel Hristov, head of the strike committee said. "We continue to wait for our demands to be met, so we won't call off the strike."

Hristov talked to private bTV channel, saying that Vice Prime Minister Daniel Valchev's comment that a tram driver shouldn't earn more than a teacher was cynicism.

Sofia's Deputy mayor in charge of transport Velizar Stoilov believes that a deal between the government, municipality and transport workers could still be worked out before Tuesday.

Transport workers demand a raise in their paycheck of BGN 250 per month.

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