Romanian Union Leader Announces Daily Protests, 40,000 To Rally On May 19 - Mediafax

Romanian Union Leader Announces Daily Protests, 40,000 To Rally On May 19

Romania’s Cartel Alfa union confederation head, Bogdan Hossu, said Monday that almost 1,000 people will protest daily outside the Government and the presidential palace in capital Bucharest and on May 19 there will be a 40,000-person rally in the city’s center.

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Hossu said all union leaders must approve the decision to go ona general strike on May 25, as strike days will be deduced from theparticipants' salaries, resulting in even lower incomes for publicsector employees.

Official sources told MEDIAFAX Sunday that union members wouldstart daily protests outside the Government and the presidentialpalace on May 19, that there would be a large-scale meeting on May19, and a general strike would start on May 25. The protests havebeen agreed upon in principle, but specific details will be decidedupon by local leaders, after the crisis body meeting Tuesday.


After his Sunday meeting with President Traian Basescu Sunday,Hossu said that a crisis body will be set up, consisting ofunionists and representatives of employers, Government andpolitical parties. Its aim will be to analyze recent spending cutmeasures and to seek alternative solutions. Hossu added the crisisbody will convene Tuesday for the first time in order to discussunionists' demands and stressed that unions will decide whether ornot to discard planned protests depending on the outcome oftalks.

Dumitru Costin, leader of the National Trade Union Bloc, saidSunday that the unions' final decision regarding protests will betaken after they gain access Monday to the entire set of measuresdiscussed with the International Monetary Fund. Costin added thatthe Agrostar federation union will protest as previously scheduled,on May 19.

Romania's five union federation leaders said Friday that acrisis committee had been assembled and that all union federationrepresentatives had withdrawn from mediation committees. They addedthat further protests, including meetings and general strikes,would be scheduled Monday.

Basescu said Thursday, after talks with IMF officials, thatpensions will decrease by 15% and salary funds in the public sectorby 25%, which will also impact the minimum wage, adding subsidieswill be drastically reduced.

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