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27% of Russian Railways staff on partial workweek

December 04, 2013, 15:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said 27% of company staff are working less than a full week.

"In conditions of economic recession, the volume of cargo transportation is diminishing. Consequently, we need less labor input so the CEO's duty is to ensure a deficit-free balance for the company," Yakunin said during an "open talk" session with the RZD rail system collective.

"I've told it to the trade union and working collectives. We should either make a tremendous number of employees redundant across the country, or, using the 2008 crisis experience, find a socially acceptable form," he went on.

The chief said he could not force personnel to work a partial week, yet would encourage them to consider this option as more advantageous than unpaid holiday leave (in October through December, RZD employees took three days' holiday at their expense — eds Itar-Tass).

"As of now, we have 27% of personnel on a partial workweek. They are mostly employed in cargo transportation and security," he said.

As for 2014, "we don't know yet how many people will have a partial workweek," Yakunin said, noting that the Ministry of Economic Development was still adjusting next year's economic forecasts.

In September, Yakunin said RZD would cut up to 60,000 jobs in the event that tariffs were put on ice. "We'll be trying to balance the budget, taking anti-crisis measures," he said. "It might involve massive job cuts.

"The current number of employees is nearing the limit given the technologies and equipment we're working with.

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