In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy is known as the woman whose beauty sparked the Trojan War.
Now, a Romanian ‘Elena’ is reported to be one cause of a subway strike in the capital last week.
Trade union members occupied tracks and the 15-hour strike disrupted traffic on a busy weekday in Bucharest last Friday.
It would have been a major inconvenience in the capital_ notorious for its traffic jams_ at the best of times. But the pandemic made the situation even worse.
As commuters scrambled to find alternative ways to get to their destinations, union members sat on the tracks at the Unirii Square station, the subway’s main junction, and shouted: „Long live freedom! Long live the union!”
Above ground, an estimated 250,000 people were late for appointments or work, exasperated or even seething. They walked or took crowded buses and trams, raising tensions amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the capital.
Prime Minister Florin Citu called the strike „illegal.”
The reason for the so-called spontaneous action was the imminent closure of underground kiosks of which 80% are run by the USLM trade union.
Subway company Metrorex said it would shut down the lucrative underground kiosks by April 2 because they were a fire hazard.
Transport Minister Catalin Drula went further saying the unions were irked because they were about to lose their privileges. „Mafia interests are threatened,” he said.
It has now emerged that there may have been another more tantalizing reason for the strike: the ‘secret’ girlfriend of powerful union chief Ion Radoi, Gandul.ro reported Thursday.
The woman, Elena Claudia Minea, owns and manages four companies rent commercial space at the underground, Gandul.ro said in an exclusive report.
Financial jigsaw puzzle
The imminent closure apparently infuriated Ion Radoi, even as he claimed, somewhat unconvincingly, that the protest was over low salaries.
Gandul.ro said that the union leader “was directly interested in not losing these commercial spaces,” due to his girlfriend’s business. It published a series of photos and graphics.
The powerful union leader has been in charge of the underground cartel for 20 years.
“The union boss Ion Radoi controls all “the games,” but not alone, rather with his secret girlfriend, Elena Claudia Minea where sentiments and business are combined in this elaborate financial jigsaw puzzle.”