The Chairman of ROMATSA Board, Marcel Parvu, has resigned office, company General Manager Ion Aurel Stanciu said on Wednesday. According to Mediafax, Parvu will continue as a member of the Board of Directors.
Parvu’s resignation cam after air traffic controllers at the ‘Henri Coanda’ International Airport of Bucharest were on warning strike on Wednesday from 11:00 to 13:00. The ROMATSA employees expressed their dissatisfaction with the negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement but had other demands as well.
In the mentioned time interval, air traffic controllers almost exclusively dealt with guiding flights in progress, but did not take are of any landing or take-off, which made it impossible for any flight to land or take off from the Otopeni Airport.
A total of 17 flights – 11 landings and six take-offs – at Otopeni Airport were therefore disrupted for the duration of the protest, according to Mediafax, who quotes Teo Postelnicu with the airport Press Office. Those where flights to destinations in several European countries such as Paris (France), London (UK), Dublin (Ireland) or Amsterdam (the Netherlands), plus a few domestic flights.
ROMATSA representatives said they didn’t want the strike, but consider that ‘passenger safety and ROMATSA workers’ freedom are above those two hours of delay’.
The spokesperson for ‘Henri Coanda’ International Airport, Valentin Iordache, has announced that ‘we, here at the airport, have made all efforts to minimise passengers’ discomfort. Shifts have been doubled, it is not at all crowded. Flights won’t be able to take-off before 13:00, but, for some, the delay will be insignificant. However, other flights will have delays of one to one and a half hours.’
It is the first air traffic controllers’ strike in the history of the company.
‘Air traffic controllers will be on strike for two hours on Wednesday from 11:00 to 13:00. The reasons are the failure to sign the collective bargaining agreement, the failure to reach an agreement following the conciliation with the Territorial Labour Inspectorate. We have come to no result’, the Secretary of the Trade Union of Air Traffic Services of Romania (ATSR), Andreias Paduraru, told Agerpres on 9 July.
According to him, during the two hours of strike, ROMATSA made the commitment to provide, under the law, a minimum of one third of the air traffic, plus flights transporting heads of state, prime-ministers, monarchs, patients, military aircraft, search and rescue and humanitarian flights.
‘The international bodies – Eurocontrol based in Brussels – will decide on those special flights, as no plane may fly without a flight plan submitted to them. The flight plans are practically sanctioned by the body. They will decide what that third should be’, the leader of the Air Traffic Controllers Trade Union (ATCOR), Gabriel Tudorache, said in his turn on Thursday, according to Agerpres.
The union members have 14 other demands regarding the professional area, protection of the employees, air traffic safety and union rights, the most important one being the retirement age. They claim that the director of ROMATSA refuses to continue with the negotiations.
Premier ‘highly concerned’
Premier Victor Ponta on Wednesday said he was “highly concerned” about the strike of the employees of Romania’s air navigation service provider ROMATSA, and expressed hope that President Klaus Iohannis made a prompt decision to appoint a minister of transport. “I am very concerned to see the labour dispute at ROMATSA, and I hope that today or tomorrow, whenever the President decides, we’ll have a new Minister of Transport, whose first task will be to sort out the issue at
ROMATSA, because it’s not normal for the passengers to suffer. I think the dialogue between the new Minister and ROMATSA unionists can lead to adequate solutions, so that such problems never occur again,” Ponta said at the beginning of the Government sitting.