Continuation of trade union actions in Romania

The five large trade union confederations in Romania, National Trade Union Confederation „Cartel ALFA”, the National Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Romania – FRATIA, the Democratic Trade Union Confederation of Romania, The National Trade Union Bloc and the National Trade Union Confederation "Meridian, organized on Wednesday, May 19, a major demonstration in front of the Government building in Bucharest.

Over 70,000 trade union members (as it was estimated by the organizers) responded to the call of the leaders of the five trade union confederations.

The strong protest of the trade union members is determined by the austerity measures announced by the Government, as they result from the letter of intent between the Government and the International Monetary Fund. The Government intentions are the following: 15% reduction in the pensions, 25% reduction in the total revenues of the budgetary employees from 1st June, 25% reduction in the minimum wage and 15% reduction in the unemployment benefit. The Government solutions involve taxation of the luncheon vouchers, reduction in the subsidies, reduction or waiving of social benefits, including those for disabled persons and war veterans. On the list of draconian solutions proposed by the government there are the firing of 250,000 people, the closing of 200 hospitals and scores of schools, and the ’’flexibility’ of the Labor Code in order to facilitate the massive layoffs.

Other reasons for discontent, shouted by tens of thousands of trade union members in front of the Government building, were the lack of interest in public funds shown by governance, ineffective measures to combat tax evasion, the refusal to discuss and negotiate with trade unions, the refusal of authorities to take into account other solutions, more efficient, proposed by the trade unions in order to reduce the budgetary expenditures and mitigate the effects of the economic crisis.

The Speakers, leaders of the organizers and also of all major trade union confederations and of member federations, which represents employees in all fields of activity from the budgetary sector and the private economy, stated that the government requires the „sacrifice” of the poor people , while the structures of the state apparatus keep their privileges. Trade union leaders, supported by the crowd, demanded the resignation of the Government which proved to be unable to manage the critical situation in Romania.

The five trade union confederations proposed a package of measures that would reduce the social effects which are a burden to most people lying at the edge of poverty, and also solutions in order to help Romania to exit from the crisis and to balance the income and expenditure budget of the state.

The trade union proposals are the following: the reduction in budgetary expenditures in each ministry and the balancing of the revenue and expenditure budget of state by the agreement with trade unions and federations in the field, the renunciation of making amendments to the Labour Code, the establishment of the minimum wage of 705 lei as a measure to reduce tax evasion, the differential taxation of wages, and also additional measures to support economic recovery, balancing the income and expenditure budget, in conditions in which the Memorandum with IMF, EU and World Bank do not have any details on this issue.
If there are not reached the solutions to the problem of placing the burden of economic crisis only on the shoulders of citizens and workers, the trade union answer will be the following: the Government and the President resignation.

Communication Department
NTUC “Cartel ALFA”