The miners are dissatisfied for not receiving their hiked risk bonuses and with the fact that their salary grid has not been update as promised.
Over 300 miners from the Lonea, Vulcan, Paroseni and Lupeni mines refused to go to work yesterday and protested outside the National Mineral Coal Company (CNH) headquarters in Petrosani. They were led by Tiberiu Cozma, the brother of Miron Cozma. According to Mediafax, the miners primarily complain of the failure to respect a memorandum approved by former Economy Minister Ion Ariton, on whose basis their risk bonuses and salary grid should have been updated, a move that would have entailed a salary hike of approximately 10 per cent. The memorandum, signed on January 17 by the Economy Ministry and the CNH trade unions, also stipulated the payment of the final compensatory salary installment for the 900 employees sacked in 2011, as well as the hiking of the mineral coal’s price for electricity producers. Wearing their work gear, the miners shouted “thieves, thieves,” “you lied to us” and “the miners and the valley have lost their patience.” Gendarmerie representatives stated that the protest was authorized and uneventful, gandul.info informs. While the miners were protesting outside, trade union leaders were called in to discuss with CNH general manager Constantin Jujan. Petrila, Livezeni and Uricani miners did not join the protest. Nevertheless, a part of the CNH employees working at the company’s headquarters, mostly women, were sent home. “It’s an emergency situation and the employees are working only in key points. The activity is nevertheless normal. This protest was not something priorly established, that is why we can’t say it’s part of daily routine,” company spokesperson Oana Stoicuta explained, being quoted by gandul.info. Asked why the decision was taken to send home a part of the employees, considering that only 300 miners took part in the protest and the protest was peaceful, the company spokesperson stated: “When there’s jeering outside the climate is not ripe for working in normal conditions.” CNH has approximately 7,800 employees in Petrosani. During a protest in February, the miners that gathered in the company’s courtyard booed CNH’s female employees, claiming they sit in office rooms while they work hard underground. Last week, trade union leaders and the CNH leadership took part in a meeting with Economy and Finance Ministry representatives in Bucharest. The talks focused on the miners’ demands. According to Mediafax, a similar meeting will take place today, the two sides’ representatives being set to reanalyze the options for solving the problems of the Jiu Valley miners.