In a follow-up to previous letters, the ETF wrote to the EU Commission President, Vice-President and Commissioners Vălean and Schmit to inform them of the deteriorating situation in Bucharest metro, the attacks on labour rights and call for a meeting to discuss the way forward.
What’s happening in Romania is without precedent and is a huge blow to social dialogue and EU fundamental rights and values.
The situation in Bucharest metro dates back to the beginning of this year, when Metrorex, a state-owned company that runs the Bucharest metro, fully backed by the Romanian government, revealed plans to cancel the collective bargaining agreement in place and lay off workers, despite the Metro system being hugely understaffed and regularly confronted with safety incidents. Both Metrorex and the Romanian government refuse to engage in social dialogue with metro workers’ trade union, USLM.
Most recently, the Metrorex company challenged in court the collective labour agreement they themselves signed in October 2020 with the USLM. Workers who took part in a spontaneous action in March are now called in court individually, forced to make false statements under pressure and intimidation i.e. to state that USLM coordinated the action.
This adds to a long list of abuses by Metrorex that completely discredit the European Union and its social values. At the top of this list:
Moreover, despite conditions set out by the European Commission, there have been no consultations with transport trade unions on Romania’s National Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan.
The above indicates that attempts to undermine the trade union movement in Romania continue to escalate and spread. Most transport trade unions from Romania face the problems highlighted above.
We call on the European Commission to listen to the concerns of its transport workers before it’s too late and meet with us to discuss the next steps to be taken.
You can read our full letter here.
To support Bucharest metro workers and tell Metrorex and the Romanian government to stop attacking labour rights, you can sign your name to our LabourStart Petition.