Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev talks with railway workers in Omsk
5 august 2012
During his visit to the Siberian Federal District, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with railway workers and congratulated them on their professional holiday.
Mr Medvedev noted that Railway Worker’s Day is one of the oldest professional holidays – it was first celebrated in 1896, and this year marks the 175th anniversary since the opening of the first Russian railway linking St Petersburg with Tsarskoe Selo.
President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin said that today railway transport employs about 1.2 million people, and the total length of railways in Russia is more than 85,000 km.
Participants in the meeting spoke about the shortage of skilled personnel. Mr Medvedev said that to resolve this problem it is necessary to combine three factors – decent wages, working conditions and respect for the profession. He said it is necessary “to popularise the jobs of working people in the media. Films and television shows should not only depict politicians, bankers and criminals. They should also show people from working class backgrounds.”
When asked if it were possible to reduce the mortgage rate for public sector employees, Mr Medvedev replied: “This year the mortgage rate is much lower because of lower inflation, even though we had a crisis two years ago. We will continue lowering inflation through all kinds of macro-economic measures and the general mortgage rate will decrease accordingly.” He added that the government is trying to resolve the housing issue for public sector employees.
Participants in the meeting also discussed school education and relief measures following wildfires in Siberia.