Update: On January 21, the strike continues despite the decision taken by authorities.
On Thursday, January 20, everything looked like a typical day in Bucharest. The bus and tram drivers were ready to depart from the bus depots, and some even left to take the first passengers. Everything came to a halt when the union leaders called everybody back. They declared “spontaneous strike”. Sources claim they prepared it a day before.
Furious passengers had no other option but to take cabs or the subway. Bucharest was blocked for a whole day, taxi drivers were happy, despite the traffic jams and the Bucharest residents endured a day without public transport.
Why all the mess? The union demands 40 EUR more for salaries. The company refuses that, as the costs with salaries will increase exponentially.
In the evening, the strike was declared illegal by the court. This was also the position of Bucharest’s Mayor, Nicusor Dan, who said that strikes could not be organised during the state of alert. He also accused the socialists, now in the governing coalition, that they had arranged this strike. This allegation is that the union leader is affiliated with the socialists.
On Friday, everything will be back to normal. The court ruled in favour of the management, and the drivers had to get back behind the wheel. At least if nobody would declare “spontaneous strike” once again.