Protests against transfer of Constanta Port under local authorities’ control


Approximately 300 Constanta Port employees protested Monday morning, in front of the head offices of the Seaports Administration (APM) against the decision of transferring 13 pc of APM shares to the Constanta Local Council, which means that the Ministry of Transportation will no longer be majority shareholder. Port employees say they fear losing their jobs if the state loses the position of majority shareholder in the Portul Constanta.
They carried billboards with slogans like: “Constanta Port remains to the motherland,” “Constanta Port, national strategic objective, not local sambadrome,” “Constanta Port is closed by ship for local barons,” “Paws off the port,” Mediafax reports. Protesters also brought along some of the heavy machines they use.
The president of the National Federation of Port Trade Unions, Mircea Burlac announced that protests will continue Tuesday and Wednesday and will resume after the European elections. Protests will be organised in front of the HQ of the Constanta Seaports Administration, between 7.00 and 9.00 AM.
The employers’ organisation “Operatorul Portuar” expressed its solidarity with the National Federation of Port Trade Unions regarding the intention to organise protest rallies. Furthermore, the members of the employers’ federation will suspend – as provided by local legislation – their activity and will join the protests, until an immediate solution is decided to their demands, the employers’ federation informs in a communique.
In this respect, mayor Radu Mazare on Monday met, at the head office of the Constanta Prefecture, a delegation of the National federation of Port Trade Unions. The meeting led to no result, as the mayor told unionists that they are defending the port tycoons, while unions accused him of forcing those who signed for the transfer of shares. Mazare said that the local administration had no say in the port after it received 20 pc of shares in 2008 and all the respective decisions were made by the Ministry of Transportation.
Also, the Constanta mayor on last Friday met officials of the Constanta Port Trade Union and the APM management, whom he assured that layoffs are out of question. He added that the municipality is more interested that the Ministry of Transportation in the good operation of the port and that the important investments being made here will not be affected by the change of shareholders. On the other hand, PNL leader Crin Antonescu said yesterday that PM Victor Ponta and Transportation minister Dan Sova want to transfer to the “Mazare clan” a part of the shares in Constanta Port by government decision, thus avoiding constitutional provisions.

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