Railway Workers to Get 12% Pay Raise

Russian Railways plans to raise wages for its 1.3 million workers by 12 percent from July 1, in a move it says is unconnected with a threatened strike by train drivers.

"This was planned a long time ago and is not linked to the strike," a spokesman said Tuesday.

Train drivers, demanding wages be doubled, have threatened a strike that could paralyze rail networks across the country. Workers last month staged a one-day strike in Moscow, halting some services in and around the capital.

"It will be the same as on April 29 — a complete stoppage of suburban trains — but for the whole country, plus cargo services," trade union leader Yevgeny Kulikov said Monday.

Kulikov said his independent union would submit its final list of demands by May 27. "If they don't answer within three days, then we could start our strike," he said.