Miners’ complaint continues, number of protesters reaches 5,000 mark

The Economy Ministry has ordered CNH Petrosani to pay to the miners sacked last year the compensatory sums that former Economy Minister Ion Ariton had promised.

The miners that marched on the streets of Petrosani in recent days returned in front of the National Mineral Coal Company (CNH) headquarters yesterday in order to continue their protest, being dissatisfied with their salaries and labour conditions and complaining that the Economy Ministry failed to observe the protocol that it signed on January 17. According to Mediafax, the more than 3,000 miners from seven Jiu Valley mines (Lonea, Petrila, Livezeni, Vulcan, Paroseni, Lupeni and Uricani) were joined by other miners, so that the number of protesters reached the 5,000 mark. During their march the miners chanted anti-government slogans and asked for peaceful and non-violent protests. The miners carried placards reading “we’re 7,700 – Roberta [Speaker of the Lower Chamber Roberta Anastase – editor’s note] counted us,” “Basescu should come; we’ll take him to a mine then happily to jail.” In front of the CNH, the miners sang the Romanian anthem and shouted “we want lorries,” “Bucharest, Bucharest.” For a few minutes, the miners blocked 66 national road.On the other hand, CNH representatives and a delegation of miners’ representatives, consisting of three trade union members and three miners, left for Bucharest on Wednesday where they were scheduled to take part in negotiations with Economy Ministry representatives. At noon, the protesters decided to supende street protests until they will know the results of negotiations in Capital and will meet this morning in the clocking rooms to receive information from union leaders.After discussing with the leadership of CNH Petrosani on Tuesday, Economy Minister Lucian Bode ordered the mineral coal company to pay to the miners sacked last year the compensatory sums that former Economy Minister Ion Ariton had promised. According to sources from among the protesters, the miners have asked the Economy Ministry to hike their risk bonus by RON 100, from RON 600 to RON 700, and the price of coal sold to energy producers. The talks that took place at the Economy Ministry yesterday morning included the issue of the price of gigacalorie for mineral coal from the Jiu Valley. In February that price stood at RON 75, and a new price has to be negotiated for the rest of 2012. CNH and the two thermal power plants that buy mineral coal currently have no contract for the price of gigacalorie. 

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