Quarter million Russian rail workers forced on unpaid leave
Moscow - Russia's state railway RZD announced Friday that it has sent one-fifth of its workforce, 250,000 workers, on unpaid leave due the ongoing worldwide economic crisis. Quoted by the Interfax news agency, the 100-per-cent state-owned company reported a loss of nearly 50 billion roubles (1.5 billion dollars), its first major loss in years.
A year's end the Russian railway reported a debt burden of 7.2 billion euros.
According to RZD forecasts, income from goods transport in 2009 is to drop by 19 per cent compared to the previous year, while passenger traffic income is set to drop by
12 per cent.(dpa)