4 – Systematic violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Romania

The ITUC affiliates in Romania are the Blocul National Sindical (BNS), the Confederatia Nationala Sindicala Cartel Alfa (Cartel ALFA), the Confederatia Sindicatelor Democratice din Romania (CSDR) and the Confederatiei Nationale a Sindicatelor Libere din România - CNSLR-FRATIA (CNSLR-FRATIA).

Prime Minister Emil Boc and his cabinet had to resign in February 2012 because of public protests against austerity measures which included amendments of the Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. Act without consulting the social partners social partners Unions and employers or their representative organisations. . When the new government expressed the need to amend the Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. Act in order to strengthen social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. , the IMF and the European Commission intervened in November 2012. Their demands include the limitation of the number of persons who are to be protected from anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

or retaliatory firing “to an appropriate number and timeframe”, and a more restrictive regulation of the right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
.

In practice

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Court orders Wizz Air to reinstate dismissed union leader25-03-2015

On 19 March 2015 Romania’s Ilfov court ordered the reinstatement of unfairly dismissed trade union leaders at Wizz Air. Mr Mircea Constantin, president of the cabin crew union Sindicatul Aerolimit, was illegally dismissed because of his efforts to establish a trade union. Transport unions as well as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) launched a campaign demanding the reinstatement of Mr Mircea Constantin.

Wizz Air dismisses union members09-02-2015

Wizz Air is a low-cost airline based in Central and Eastern Europe. On their website, the company proudly says: “we believe that people make all the difference” and that they “believe in high ethical standards driven by an excellent team-player approach”. However, that “ethical” approach does not seem to include the acceptance of trade unions defending workers’ rights.

Earlier this year, a couple of courageous cabin crew members decided to set up a trade union at Wizz Air. One month after they formally announced the foundation of a trade union, its President, Mircea Constantin, was dismissed on false disciplinary grounds. The Vice-President and Secretary of the trade union, Claudiu Bita and Denisa Chelu, were suspended for two weeks on the ground that “their involvement in the trade union makes them a safety hazard during the flights”.

The management of Wizz Air visited the company’s hub in Bucharest and verbally confirmed that they will not accept any unions inside the company. The union was given one week to dissolve itself; otherwise, actions would be taken, namely the removal of one aircraft from Bucharest and consequently further lay-offs despite earlier growth announcements. After the deadline, the management sent a letter explaining that, given the situation, the company had decided to establish a new cabin crew employment company. That company would provide non-unionised workers for Wizz Air in Bucharest.

The pressure put forth by the company increased and many workers were afraid of losing their jobs. The management even contacted people during their days off to inquire about their position vis-à-vis the union. The situation reached a head on 4 November 2014 with the termination of 19 union members’ contracts, mostly founding members, due to the “reorganisation and lower demand during the winter schedule”.

Unpaid union dues19-05-2014

SC Erdemir Romania dismissed 10 workers who took part in the protest organized to ask for better working conditions within the framework of collective negotiation between 5 and 7 February 2013. The court ruled in favour of the employees and ordered the reinstatement of the workers which has been appealed by the employer. SC Energy Complex Oltenia decided to stop collecting and remitting union dues to the National Federation of Mine and Energy despite an existing collective agreement on 5 July 2013. The Trial Court of Gorj ruled that this illegal and ordered the remittance of union dues. However, the company has refused to implement this ruling. The SC Nitroporos SRL (Fagaras) has not paid union dues to the Free Union “Nitramonia - Rompiro” for the period April 2011 to March 2013. The Brasov Court ruled in favour of the union on 14 February and ordered the company to pay RON205.091.

Moreover, Cartel ALFA reports the refusal of SC CARREFOUR ROMANIA SA to disclose the relevant and necessary information to the Unions in the framework of the collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
during the period May 2013 to July 2013.

Metrotex refuses to bargain05-04-2013

Metrotex management refused to negotiate a new collective agreement with the Free Trade Union of Metro and Aviation Workers (USLMA). The existing collective agreement expired in March 2013.

Priests do not have the right to freedom of association31-07-2013

In Sindacutul ‘Pastorul Cel Bun’ v. Romania [2013] ECHR 646 the European Court of Human Rights overruled an earlier decision of the Third Section in favour of the Romanian government with respect to the refusal to register a trade union established by priests. The Archdiocese is opposed to registration arguing the union’s constitution was incompatible with the duties accepted by priests. The Grand Chamber recognised there was interference in the right to freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
but considered this interference necessary and proportionate with respect to the protection of Article 9. It was held that in refusing to register the union, “the State was simply declining to become involved in the organisation and operation of the Romanian Orthodox Church, thereby observing its duty of neutrality under Article 9 of the Convention”.

Lack of clarity in new law fuels airline dispute05-09-2011

The Tarom National Technical Trade Union has reported that the management of the national airline, CN Tarom SA, has been refusing to negotiate with the union over a new contract despite the fact that it continues to represent workers. It is understood that the company may be using a gap created as a result of a new law, the Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. Act, to justify the action. New criteria have been introduced in how social partners social partners Unions and employers or their representative organisations. represent workers and also to collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
, but the government had not defined the sectors in which agreements can be signed.

Concerns over law on retrocession of trade union assets15-01-2010

At the beginning of the year, Romania remained the last new EU member state from Central and Eastern Europe not to have settled the issue of trade union assets. In December 2009 the Romanian senate had rejected a bill on trade union assets proposed by a commission composed of members of the government and representatives of trade union confederations. In January 2010 the international trade union movement called on the Romanian government and President to promulgate the law on retrocession as adopted by the commission in order to solve the issue of distribution of trade union assets, and thereby enabling trade unions in Romania to pursue their activities freely and securely.

Organising obstructed30-11-2009

In recent years some employers have been trying to block the creation of trade unions within companies and have even warned workers against discussing unionisation with outsiders. There have been reports that unscrupulous employers – usually foreign companies – make employment conditional upon the worker agreeing not to create or join a union. If a trade union representative loses his or her job, he or she will hardly ever be allowed back to the company premises to meet with trade union members. Self-employed workers who wish to form or join a union are especially at risk.

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