Romania: National Confederation of Free Trade Unions to Organise Large Protest Against Austerity Measures

Around 20,000 people are expected to attend the large protest that will be organised in Bucharest on 22 September by the National Council of CNSLR-FRATIA and supported by the ITUC on the eve of the World Day for Decent Work on October 7 . The aim of the demonstration is to protest against the harsh austerity measures imposed by the Romanian government.

While the banking and finance sector is back to business as usual, workers in Romania, as in many other countries, are still paying the price for the world economic crisis. The Romanian government has decided to cut vital public services as well as development aid and public services wages to fight the crisis.

The Romanian trade union has decided to protest and will ask, among other things, the following: to increase the minimum wage for both the public and the private sector; to block the initiative of dissolving the individual Employment Agreement for an undetermined period, the collective Labour Agreement at the sectoral level, and the Collective Labour Agreement at the national level; and to keep the present pension law, retirement age and pension calculation. The CNSLT-FRATIA will also insist that the Labour Inspection Law be modified, in order to reduce illegal labour and strengthen workplace security measures.

“With the Romanian protest, we see once again that trade unions around the world are stepping up pressure for decent jobs and social justice, in the lead up to the World Day for Decent Work on October 7,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “The job crisis is not getting better. Workers keep paying the price,” she added. Trade unions across Europe are planning a massive demonstration in Brussels on 29 September to protest at austerity measures. Millions of trade unionists took part in the World Day for Decent Work in the 2008 and 2009, with more than 470 actions in 111 countries last year.

The Romanian protest will take place just a few days after the end of ILO-IMF Conference in Oslo where the International Labour Organisation and the International Monetary Fund agreed to engage in joint work to develop policies that promote employment-creating growth and “to explore the concept of a social protection floor for people living in poverty and in vulnerable situations”. The ITUC is hoping that every necessary measures will be taken in order to achieve this important promise and that the ILO and the IMF will work together more closely in favour of a job-centred recovery.