Russian Railways Considers Part-Time Work for All Employees

Russia’s largest employer, state-run monopoly Russian Railways, is looking at moving staff to part-time schedules as the coronavirus outbreak reduces rail traffic, RBC reported citing sources.

A letter sent by Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov to members of the board outlined a way the company could limit job losses for its 730,000 staff, 74,000 of whom are already working remotely, as Russian cities and regions introduce travel restrictions and lockdown measures.

“I propose looking at the mass use of part-time working regimes, including for members of the RZhD management, as an alternative to staff reductions and for preserving jobs,” the letter reads, according to RBC’s sources.

The fall in cargo loading in the first quarter is expected to be more than 5%, and the fall in passenger traffic at nearly 40%, Belozerov said.

He said the reasons behind the proposal were the “unstable macroeconomic situation” and “the deteriorating price situation on world markets for Russian commodity exporters.”

Russia has reported 3,548 coronavirus cases and 30 deaths, prompting the government to impose a partial lockdown on many of its regions, with the fall in oil prices and the ruble harming Russian exporters.

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