Social Dialogue Minister Liviu Pop stated on Friday at Campia Turzii, where a protest against layoffs at the Mechel plant was taking place, that he hoped an investor that would create jobs could be brought in a week’s time, Mediafax informs. He pointed out that he does not ask protesters not to come out into the street because it is their right to express their dissatisfactions. After the meetings, Pop stated that the plant’s privatization contract has been verified and it was respected. Likewise, according to him, the ministry he represents and the Cluj County Employment Agency (AJOFM) have already found a solution for the 250 employees laid off, the latter set to be supported through a European-financed project. He added that he talked with the Russian Ambassador to Romania and was given assurances that a meeting with the owner of Mechel Group will take place in the following period in order for solutions to be found for all the plants owned in Romania. Cluj County Prefect Ioan Vuscan accused Mechel’s Russian shareholders of following a well-devised strategy in order to pull out of the area. Likewise, Cartel Alfa trade union leader Bogdan Hossu stated at the protest meeting in Campia Turzii that the government and parliament have to change the privatisation law so that Romanian plants no longer end up being sold “for peanuts.” Over 350 persons took part in a protest outside the Mechel plant on Friday afternoon, being displeased with the announced layoffs and with the possibility of seeing the plant closed down.
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