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CDR: In order for Romania to be able to continue its development, it is important that the relationship between employers and employees remains balanced

Coalitia pentru Dezvoltarea Romaniei (Coalition for Romania’s Development –CDR) believes it is important that a balance is maintained in the relationship between employers and employees, in the context in which there are several draft laws discussed by the Romanian Parliament in order to amend the Law no.62/2011 on the Social Dialogue (LDS). Besides CDR has recently published the worrying conclusions of the survey on the labor force in Romania, which confirms that the labor force is already tensioned as a result of the lack of labor force.

“Since its entry into force in 2011, LDS has created significant benefits on the labor market, for both the employees and employers (the salary and non-salary rights have grown steadily, as well as the number of collective labor agreements at the companies’ level, there were less labor conflicts, etc.).

However, taking into account the objective need to periodically review the legislation in the social dialogue field, CDR believes this review must be focused on the primary interest of the economic and social development, to the benefit of all the involved parties. The revision process itself must be extremely transparent and coherent, coagulating all the relevant and legitimate points of view (trade union organizations, employers’ organizations, representatives of the employees and of the business sector, civil society). In this respect, CDR appreciates that the large number of recent draft laws for amending the LDS, the parallel and uncoagulated discussions on different levels are not likely to contribute to the transparency and coherence of the revision process”, reads a press release issued on Friday by CDR.

In the opinion expressed in the quoted document, the revision of LDS must take into account several fundamental principles:

  • social dialogue must be a factor that contributes to the competitiveness of the national economy (we must overcome the idea according to which social dialogue and competitiveness are antagonistic notions)
  • a healthy social climate contributes essentially to the economic performance of the employers, thus creating the prerequisites of a high living standard for the employees
  • social dialogue must not favor the labor conflicts, but contribute to avoid them
  • the social dialogue process must be simplified, bringing flexibility and agility in the relationships between the social partners, instead of formalism and excessive bureaucracy
  • social dialogue must be constructive, allowing social partners to identify together adequate economic and social solutions.

The above-mentioned document also states that CDR appreciates that the last draft law amending LDS, which is currently subject to the Senate’s parliamentary debate, especially the amendments proposed by the Senate, are much far from these principles. “Thus, there are certain provisions attempting to protect or favor the trade union organizations by an unbalanced manner, although employees should be the main beneficiaries of these amendments”.

At the same time, CDR’s opinion shows that “there are other provisions that hinder the negotiation and dialogue process or that are seriously threatening the decisional independence of the employers regarding the development strategies”.

“We can mention a few examples which are contrary to these principles: the significant extension of the scope of the economic activities that can be carried out by the trade unions, the unjustified exception of these economic activities from the specific control of the competent authorities, the obligation for the trade unions to participate in the debates of the management bodies (boards of directors), the excessive complication and bureaucratization of the representation criteria of the employees in the negotiation process at the company level, the automatic extension of the consequences of the collective labor agreements concluded at the level of an activity field also on certain employers and employees who were not part of their negotiation and signing, the possibility to trigger labor conflicts during the availability of the collective labor agreements concluded with the consent of the social partners, etc.”.

CDR supports and contributes to the existence of a social dialogue at the company level, group of units and field of activity, which is essential for Romania’s economic growth and for the welfare of its citizens; this evolution can be assured only through performance and competitiveness, the press release reads.

CDR acknowledges that after LDS was adopted in 2011, the number of collective labor contracts has increased significantly, while the number of collective labor agreements at the sector level has decreased. The experience before adopting LDS in 2011 was already indicating a low desire of the social partners to negotiate and conclude collective labor agreements at this level.VDR understands the necessity of concluding such agreements at the sector level, and strongly believes that they can be concluded provided that the employers and the trade union federations will be fairly represented, by fairly defining the sectors and identifying the common points of interest.

“We appreciate that the draft law amending LDS and especially its amendments are contrary to the primary purpose of concluding a collective agreement designed to maintain a real social dialogue and to avoid a collective labor conflict.

The CDR specialists have the expertise and the desire to participate in the revision of this law that is highly important for both the employers and the employees, and which has an essential impact on the society as a whole.

The Coalition for Romania’s Development calls for balance and coherence in the law-making process. We wish a constructive dialogue with the state authorities, leading to a framework that is favorable to the social dialogue in Romania”, the quoted document also reads.

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