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November 13, 2019

Labour Code is constitutional, CCR rules

The Constitutional Court (CCR) yesterday rejected opposition complaints against the government’s Labour Code project, ruling that the legislation was constitutional, according to Mediafax. The decision was made by majority of vote, only one of the nine CCR judges being absent from debates.

The complaint against the Labour Code, filed by 112 lawmakers of the opposition Social-Democrat Party and National Liberal Party, referred both to the legislation’s content and to the manner in which the Labour Code was passed. The government assumed responsibility in Parliament over the legislation and survived the no-confidence vote filed against it by the opposition. The new Labour Code was heavily criticised by trade unions and opposition parties, which said the legislation practically legalises “slavery” on the labour market.

The government and President Traian Basescu repeatedly dismissed the allegations, saying that the new code actually makes the labour market more flexible, thus favouring investments.

Commenting on the CCR vote, National Union Bloc leader Dumitru Costin said the ruling was only a lost battle and added that unionists will continue to fight the legislation, being determined to go all the way to the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. In his turn, PSD leader Victor Ponta said the ruling was “purely political.” He added that the current Constitutional Court formula and the manner in which it makes decisions show that it has become a “purely political court.”

“This is why I think our plan to change the Constitution and the Constitutional Court justice, so that the judges are no longer named from among Basescu’s friends, but from among High Court magistrates, is the only solution to guarantee the court’s independence. Basescu has ruined the Constitutional Court,” Ponta said.

On the other hand, PM Emil Boc welcomed the decision and thanked all ministers who worked on the Labour Code project, especially Labour Minister Ioan Botis.

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