Transnistrian workers mull over outbursts

The inflation rate in the Transnistrian area reached 29.4% in the first two months of the year, though the would-be officials had forecasted an inflation of 10%, the Info-Prim Neo correspondent in the area reports. The utilities rose the most in 2007, by 40 per cent. The prices of foodstuffs doubled. Since the beginning of the year, the charge for utilities has increased by one third on average, as the food is getting more expensive. Thus, the price of milk sold in markets is 6 to 8 Transnistrian rubles (9-12 lei,) while the cheapest milk processed by the factories from Rabnita and Tiraspol is 10 rubles a liter (14 lei.) The dairy prices rose even more in several towns in the area last week. The price of one kg of cheese and cream has reached a record high for this season – 30 rubles or 43 lei. The Trade Unions Federation from the area braces for a meeting on March 27 to consider how to protect the working people. At a meeting of the Unions leaders later in February, they proposed to discuss how to better remunerate budget earners and technical personnel. One of the leaders, Zinaida Vasilieva, remarked that the prices went up, while the salaries remained at the 2005 level. People have been thrown to the brink of poverty, she said, it is impossible to insure your life on the salary of a budget earner. The salary of a young teacher is 700 rubles (about 1,000 lei,) of a kindergarten employee – 500 rubles (700 lei.) The situation of the technical assistants is even worse, they don’t have even that much. The promised pay rise to 700 rubles on the account of the savings in the labor remuneration fund has never occurred, because nothing has been saved. Under these circumstances, a social revolt of employees is imminent, Vasilieva underlined. A similar situation is noticed in the healthcare system. Because of low wages, the doctors are leaving the area en masse. According to the Trade Union’s publication “Profsoyuznye Vesti,” one thousand employees left the medical units in 2006, while in 2007 – over 2,000. Now, about 60 per cent of the sick go to the doctors from Chisinau and Odessa. The employees in science and culture receive the lowest salaries in the region: 400 rubles (600 lei.) An arts gallery manager gets – 700 rubles (1,000 lei,) and a science researcher – 800 (1150 lei.) The situation is getting even worse because of the wage-arrears for some categories. According to the last data, the arrears amount to over 100 mln rubles (150 mln lei) and are 2-3 months late.

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