They criticize the government’s lack of social dialogue and failure to fulfill obligations on the government agenda.
Chairman of Cartel Alfa National Union Confederation Bodgan Hossu announced yesterday the outbreak of protests scheduled to last indefinitely. Picket lines will be organized every day in town throughout the country at Prefect’s Office headquarters from two county councils by two union confederation branches. Each week, a picket line will be set in motion in Bucharest before Palatul Victoria on the day when the government session is scheduled. “By these long-term protests, members of Cartel Alfa CNS wish to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s political strategy, which fails to meet expectations and breaks the promises made to citizens”, Hossu stated.
One of the unionists’ claims relates to amending the social dialogue law as it was proposed by social partners. “When the government coalition was part of the opposition, they promised to amend the labor legislation to unblock collective negotiations and social dialogue. Pressured by international financial institutions and multinational companies, the government refuses to amend the social dialogue law”, Bogdan Hossu said further. Unionists also request decent pay in the form of a net minimum wage at country level of no less than RON 1,000 for 2014. They believe increasing minimum wage to such an extent as to be able to cover living expenses would also benefit the economy by preventing tax evasion on the labor market, increasing internal consumption levels, cutting back the number of guaranteed minimum wage beneficiaries, as well as the number of persons on social welfare, and providing additional income to the state budget. “Europe is currently talking about introducing a national minimum wage of 60% of the national average wage, as part of a policy for diminishing social gaps and inequity. At the moment, Romania’s minimum wage is low, as compared to the 34% average wage”, the Cartel Alfa Chairman added.
Furthermore, unionists demand that layoffs without social protection measures be stopped. “It is unacceptable that the government is only interested in closing companies, which means thousands of persons are laid off simultaneously without measures to ensure social protection”, Hossu emphasized. Members of the union are dissatisfied with the restricted access to public and social services, the lack of a real social dialogue and other issues concerning economic relaunch and tax evasion countermeasures.
According to the Cartel Alfa protest schedule, the first such demonstration will take place Tuesday, 3.30 p.m., at the Prefect’s Office in Tulcea, and then followed by similar protests on October 2 in Maramures and Arges, on October 3 in Arad, Satu Mare and Bacau and on October 4 in Constanta and Bihor. Each protest is expected to be attended by at least 150 people. Unionists will be addressing all MPs, reminding them of campaign promises and the commitments undertaken at party level. “The social movements carried out by members of Cartel Alfa CNS will not stop until the government launches a responsible social dialogue to find appropriate solutions for the most pressing problems of our members and other citizens as well”, Hossu stated.