Hail suppression and fishery employees from Southern Bulgaria blocked the Plovdiv-Haskovo road at Popovitsa on Friday to press their demand for higher wages. They insist on a 15% pay rise and expect to meet with Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev urgently to discuss the possibilities.
Protesters said that the Hail Suppression Agency employs about 1,000 people, including highly qualified engineers and physicists. Their gross monthly wages average BGN 1,300. The demonstrators argued that their work is essential for protecting farm crops.
The situation in the Executive Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture is said to be similar. “Our employees often risk their lives trying to catch poachers,” a protester said.
If the employees’ demands remain unheeded, their co-workers in Northern Bulgaria will join the demonstrations next week, said the agriculture chapter of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria. The unions warned of possible blockades on the Hemus and Trakia motorways.