Protests were held on DN 64 and DN 65 B, attended by employees of Oltchim and Divizia Petrochimica Bradu.
Traffic on DN 64, which was blocked by the Oltchim employees between Ramnicu Valcea and Dragasani, resumed after approximately two hours, when the workers gave up their protest and unblocked the road, Mediafax reports.During the protest, approximately 300 employees of the chemical plant crossed the street at a crosswalk, blowing vuvuzelas and shouting “We want to work,” “Don’t cheat us” and “We don’t want unemployment.” Policemen and gendarmes were dispatched to secure the area. During the protest, traffic was diverted by police on secondary roads.
The employees urged the judicial administrator and the representatives of the Ministry of Economy to come to Valcea and present them the plan concerning the company. According to the leader of the Oltchim Free Trade Union, Mihai Diculoiu, people are upset by the overdue salaries and the fact that layoffs were announced before the approval of a reorganisation plan for the company. They also demand the end of the psychological war waged among employees, who are threatened with unemployment.
The protesters said they will stage daily rallies until they receive answers to the questions addressed to the judicial administrator. “We requested the judicial administrator to present, until, 31 March 2013, the programme of phased resuming of operations, by restarting the installations, which will take us from a production capacity of 5-6 pc now to 65 pc. We asked the judicial administrator and the special one to restart petrochemical operations at Pitesti by April 30, because this is the only variant in which Oltchim can operate, as an integrated and profitable system. We demanded that Oltchim is privatised until June 2013, together with the Arpechim refinery, a position embraced and expressed by minister Varujan Vosganian,” Diculoiu added, quoted by romanialibera.ro.
Another protest erupted at Divizia Petrochimica Bradu near Pitesti, a subsidiary of Oltchim.
Over 300 employees blocked the road DN 65 B, a connection with the Bucharest-Pitesti motorway, and unblocked the national road after approximately an hour. The protesters had blocked the crossroad near the Pitesti Customs Office, at the entry to the town, and continuously crossed the road both ways on a crosswalk, shouting “Thieves” and “We want to work.” They went to the head offices of Divizia Petrochimica Bradu, where protests continue before the administrative building of the company. “We understood that a list was received by the management from the judicial administrator, which informs about layoffs. We cannot agree. Our protest began before the administrative building of the company and, when he heard that the list of layoffs has arrived, we went to block the national road. We want to work, we have not been paid for three months and we cannot agree to these layoffs,” a protester said.
Layoffs, proportional with the dimension of the production capacity
The layoffs planned at Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea will be proportional with the dimension of the production capacity of the plant, and borrowing EUR 10-15 M from the banks with which authorities negotiate these days can secure the operation at a 50 pc capacity, the minister of Economy, Varujan Vosganian said in an interview, quoted by financiarul.ro. “The judicial managers are seeking formulas to secure compensatory salaries. In order to keep the entire personnel there should be a production capacity of 80 pc,” he added. According to the official, the judicial and special administrator negotiate with the providers of raw materials and with beneficiaries, in order to increase the output as much as possible.