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Austrian parent may liquidate Rail Cargo Hungária

Austrian railway company ÖBB may wind up its Hungarian subsidiary Rail Cargo Hungária (RCH) if local unions are unwilling to accept its lay-off plans, Austrian daily Der Standard reported, citing an unnamed source.

RCH on Tuesday announced letting go as many as 460 staff but this is "most likely only the beginning, company insiders talk of 2,000", the paper said. ÖBB may be better off "giving up" RCH altogether if unions do not stop their protests against ÖBB's restructuring and lay-off plans as the company's book value has significantly dropped since it was acquired by ÖBB in 2008. RCH logged an operating loss of €16.3 million last year, which is expected to swell to €26.5 million in 2010. (BBJ)