Dissatisfaction of Transport Labour May Constantly be Accompanied with Strikes
Azerbaijan, Baku, 12 May / Trend / It should be acknowledged that the strikes in the transport sphere are more frequent than the other spheres of economy. The only reason for it can be attributed to the fact that the European Directive 93/104/EC, signed on 23 November 1993, imposed limits on work time concerning all spheres except aviation, railway, motor-car, sea, river and lake transport, fishing and attending physicians. However, the regulation of labour in transport sphere is a problem which is accompanied with frequent strikes.
The transport of Azerbaijan is not an exception to it, and the strike by the workers of locomotive depot of the State Railway of Azerbaijan in one of the settlements of Baku in the early May can be a striking example to it. The workers demanded to raise their wages at least more than twice.
The strike was stopped by the law-enforcement bodies and State Railway. The point is that, according to Article # 281 of the Labour Code, the railway men have no right to strike as the railway transport is one of the service spheres which is of great importance for health and security of the people. The Article says that in case, the parties can not settle labour disputes by the conciliatory measures, compulsory arbitration is applied.
Therefore, the strikers were offered to make a written appeal to the higher organs. A group of representatives of the strike was invited to the office of the State Railway on 7 May to discuss the situation. It is worth recalling that in February, the employees of this depot struck with a demand of higher wages. The strike was stopped after they meet with the management.
One can say with confidence that if favorable conditions are not created for the transport workers, the strikes will become common. After all, though the general indicators of the share of transport in the world economy has been relatively stable for a long period of time, the occupational pattern within the sphere is subject to the constant changes as in case of productivity in transportation means. While agriculture and industry is satisfied with a small number of workers, the share of transport in the total volume of work is rising day by day.
The railway strikes took place in Russia, France, Germany, Belgium and Hungary from the late 2007 up to April 2008. Most of the strikes ended in favor of the transport workers. The German railway men achieved 11% pay raise and one time pay worth €800 for each worker. Their Hungarian counterparts protested against shortening of routes and elimination of the suburban service and could achieve what they were aiming for. They also demanded 10% pay raise.
According to the State Railway of Azerbaijan, the wages of all workers have been raised by AZN28.6 since 1 April 2008, including those of the strikers. The average wage in the Azerbaijani railway makes up AZN302 against the previous AZN274.
Ellada Khanhishiyeva, the director of the Analytical Center of Trend .
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