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March 25, 2023

Protests at Oltchim and Divizia Petrochimica Bradu

Employees demand the overdue salaries for December and the first tranche for January, as well as the adoption of the reorganisation plan. There is a real fear of bankruptcy among them, although the court-appointed administrator, Gheorghe Piperea, assured that there is no such danger now and made an appeal to calm.

Approximately 500 employees of Oltchim protested yesterday in front of the administrative building, because they did not receive the overdue salaries for December and January, Mediafax reports. Other protests sparked at the Divizia Petrochimica Bradu branch. Some 300 employees yesterday rallied at the company premises, against the management’s failure to pay their wages and the fear that they will lose their jobs.According to trade union leader Corneliu Cernev, the people asked the management and the judicial administrator to clearly inform them about the reorganisation and restructuring plan. “People expect the capitalisation, they now know that the Valcea Tribunal approved the insolvency, but want to know what is going on. They want the government to financially support us with EUR 20 M, banks should allocate another EUR 25 M, and thus to return Oltchim to efficiency. If not, the insolvency is not beneficial, although it protects the plant from creditors, but we want the money that will allow us to operate at 65 pc capacity within the shortest time possible. People fear that they will lose their jobs if one does not allocate money for capitalisation,” Corneliu Cernev mentioned. Employees also fear that they will not receive compensatory salaries if they are made redundant.At the moment when this articles was published, talks were going on between the trade union leaders of Oltchim and of Divizia Petrochimica Bradu.The trade union leader of Divizia Petrochimica Bradu, Marian Dumitru announced that employees want to meet the person in charge with the insolvency procedure, as they fear the company will run bankrupt and will be scrapped, so they will become unemployed. Judicial administrator Gheorghe Piperea yesterday ruled out the danger of bankruptcy at this moment and asked trade unions to understand that they should “calm down.” “We are making efforts, I talked for six hours with trade unions in Valcea, they understood our short-term strategy and this protest comes as a surprise. If protests go on, Oltchim’s chances to get rescued are decreasing. It does not help them if they protest. Bankruptcy is out of question at this moment and people must understand that we discuss the reorganisation of the company,” Gheorghe Piperea explained.Divizia Petrochimica Bradu is a branch of Oltchim, after it was taken over from OMV Petrom more than three years ago. The latest protest rally lasted approximately three hours and employees resumed work. The leader of the trade union announced that he will go to Ramnicu Valcea, for talks with the management and with the trade unions of Oltchim, in order to decide what must be done. According to the source, employees also demand the compensatory salaries provided by the collective work contract, if layoffs are operated.

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