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Russian Railways to reduce workforce by more than 53,000


North American railroads aren’t alone when it comes to reducing workforces. The Russian Railways recently announced plans to cut 53,700 jobs this year.

Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin recently met with representatives of the railroad’s labor organizations. The meeting also was attended by workers from 17 railways in Russia and representatives from federal agencies.

The Russian Railways expects 2009 traffic volume to decline 19 percent compared with 2008’s level, Yakunin said, according to a prepared statement. The railroad is Russia’s largest employer with a workforce of 1.2 million.

“From an economic point of view, at the present time we have to lay off 180,000 workers,” said Yakunin. “But the board has taken a strategic decision to preserve the workforce as much as possible, avoid mass redundancies and think of the future so as to enter the post-crisis period when traffic will increase with the necessary staff contingent.”

Therefore, the railroad opted to cut 53,700 jobs in 2009.

“This is not a reduction of the workforce, rather a reduction in the number of company employees that is the result mainly of people leaving and retiring,” said Yakunin.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/18/2009