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Strike disrupts rail traffic, airport traffic undisturbed

  National labor strike launched by the LIGA trade-union federation at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, caused disruptions to railway traffic throughout Hungary on Friday morning. Flights to and from Budapest airport went undisturbed. Budapest Transport (BKV) employees did not join the strike.

Some employees of Hungarian state-owned railway company MÁV joined the LIGA strike under the auspices of the VDSZSZ railway union, halting rail traffic at the Eastern and Southern stations in Budapest early on Friday morning and reducing traffic at the city’s Western Station. The VDSZSZ also brought railway traffic to a standstill in major cities such as Szeged and Pécs (both south Hungary).

MÁV officials told MTI that a greater proportion of the company’s trains have been running on schedule since the beginning of the end of the overnight work shift at 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., noting that some trains had begun to run at Budapest’s Southern Station with the beginning of the day shift.

Budapest Airport Communications Director Mihály Hardy told MTI that the strike, in which one of the airport’s employee unions was scheduled to participate between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Friday, had caused no disruption to flights at Budapest Ferihegy International Airport.

LIGA Chairman and VDSZSZ President István Gaskó said on Friday morning that the customary number of MAV employees had participated in Friday’s strike. The VDSzSz union also held strikes in February, April, July and December of 2008.

Employees of the regional, jointly Austrian- and Hungarian-owned railway company GySEV are scheduled to strike between 10 a.m. and noon on Friday.

There were not any significant disruptions to public transport in Budapest. Budapest transport Transport Company (BKV) unions said earlier they did not join the strike.

The LIGA trade-union federation called Friday’s national strike to protest the Bajnai government’s proposed package of economic austerity measures. Only one other trade-union federation chose to participate in the strike. (MTI-Econews)