The National Confederation of Free Unions in Romania CNSLR – Fratia, the largest national union organization in the country, announced that it has decided to start the procedures to trigger the general strike in the economy.
The trade union confederation represents the interests of 500,000 employees from diverse fields, from health to communications, transport, energy, and wood industry.
The unionists are afraid that they may lose their jobs or get lower salaries following the transfer of social contributions payment from the employer to the employee. The measure was announced by the Government and should come into force starting January.
In the press release, CNSLR – Fratia also announced other reasons for the general strike, such as the unjustified delay in granting salary rights for employees of some public social and medical-social care units for several months.
The announced general strike will take place in several sectors of activity, namely energy, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical industry, communications, transport, wood and furniture, textiles and leather, agriculture, health, education, public administration and social assistance.
CNSLR – Fratia said it would set a date for the strike after it gathers the signatures of the 500,000 employees in the confederation.
The announced social contributions transfer has already triggered protests in Romania, with the biggest ones being staged by the employees from the public health, police, and transport departments.
While the officials say that the salaries won’t drop after the implementation of this measure, representatives of the business environment don’t agree. For example, AmCham, one of the biggest business organizations in the country, said recently that the transfer of the social contributions from the employer to the employee starting next year will have a negative impact on the labor market. The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) in Romania has also asked for clarification about the need to transfer social contributions from the employer to the employee.
Moreover, CNS Cartel Alfa union association, whose representatives met with Government officials to discuss the announced fiscal changes, recently called on President Klaus Iohannis to mediate the conflict between trade unions and the Government. It accused labor minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu of not being concerned with the labor market, and of not understanding the legislation or the role and significance of her public position, reports local News.ro.
The Cartel Alfa trade unionists also said the labor minister promotes the measures through deception and misinformation. They believe these changes would have consequences that are difficult to estimate both socially and economically.
Labor minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu said the Government won’t introduce in the Fiscal Code any provision obliging employers not to lower net salaries after the social contributions are transferred from the employer to employee
A Deloitte Romania analysis showed that a net salary of RON 3,000 (EUR 652) could drop by over 16% to RON 2,502 (EUR 504) from next year if the employer doesn’t increase the gross salary. The decision to increase the gross salary is left to the employer.
Most Romanian employees expect lower salaries after changes in contributions payment