BUCHAREST, Romania — The Romanian Transportation Ministry said Friday that it plans to cut the number of railway employees by 12,000.
The plan was sent to the unions who rejected it and threatened protests. Union leader Gheorghe Popa said the ministry did not include social protection measures for those who will lose their jobs.
Popa said the cuts will have a negative impact on local communities and companies that rely on trains for transport. Almost half the people to lose their jobs work for the goods transportation service.
The Romanian railway network is owned by the state. It employs about 80,000 people. It badly needs to modernize its infrastructure and services. Currently trains run at low speed because of old and poor-quality rails.