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December 1, 2020

Bucharest Court rules ROMATSA employees’ strike legal, union leader says negotiations still possible

The general strike of Romanian Civil Aeronautics Authority ROMATSA employees is still scheduled on September 1, but union members hope to avoid it and are open to negotiations throughout the weekend, their union leader Gabriel Tudorache told Agerpres on Friday, after Bucharest Court has rejected the demand of the Romanian Civil Aeronautics Authority – ROMATSA to find illegal a strike of its employees.
The tribunal’s decision is subject to appeal.
“The only solution to close the conflict is signing a collective bargaining agreement registered at the Labour Inspectorate,” Tudorache asserted.
The ROMATSA unionists have announced on Monday an all-out strike for September 1, should authorities not solve by then the issues the employees are confronted with.
On August 19, Ion Aurel Stanciu, then CEO of ROMATSA, subsequently appointed secretary of state of the Transport Ministry said that the union protests and threats with the general strike were not grounded, as 12 out of 14 their claims were settled and the authority’s leadership was further open to negotiations.
On July 15, the air traffic controllers went on a two-hour warning strike that affected 17 flights.

Romanian air traffic controllers might cover half of flights if striking on September 1

The Air Traffic Services Union (ASTR) leader Gabriel Tudorache also said the unionists are willing to ensure half of the air traffic, not just the legal one-third minimum, should they come to general strike; passengers will learn from the air companies what flights are cancelled, he added.

The ATSR representatives explained that during the strike, as it was the case with their warning strike, there is an obligation to ensure one third of the air traffic plus the emergency and humanitarian and military police flights, and those of the state interest.

“Which of the flights will be practically stopped; which do not pass – the two-thirds – are not for us, nor for ROMATSA, neither for the union, nor for Romania to decide. It is about those in Brussels, those with the Eurocontrol. They make this decision. If we get there, the same as the previous time, meaning the strike effectively starts at 11am, we shall negotiate with the people of Eurocontrol and we’ll think of a solution to make our best not to affect so many passengers. We even think to grow this percentage. Practically, the law says we should ensure one third. We are thinking of ensuring, if negotiated and accepted, at least one half – or we shall see on the way,” Tudorache declared after the Bucharest Court ruled that the strike was legal.

As regards the possible appeal by ROMATSA, Tudorache said he knew nothing, yet as far as he knows there was no such possibility by September 1.

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