“We will not be intimidated nor be silenced!” – ETF on anti-union climate in Romania

27 Jul 2021

On 26 – 27 July, an ETF delegation led by ETF president Frank Moreels and General Secretary, Livia Spera, and including the ITF representative David Gobé, visited Bucharest in a fact-finding mission aiming to gather the last round of evidence on the state of social dialogue and the anti-union climate in Romania. Two days of intense meetings with over ten transport trade unions representing public transport, railways, aviation, professional drivers and maritime personnel added shocking evidence to what the European trade union movement knew already. Unions are under enormous pressure in Romania, and dialogue is nearly inexistent. The ETF delegation was in talks with these unions in a climate where restructuring, pay cuts, and redundancies seem imminent in all sectors.

On 27 July, the ETF was joined by two Romanian trade union confederations – Cartel Alfa and CNSRL Fratia – and the European Public Service Union representatives.  This meeting only confirmed the findings, the situation in transport is not an isolated one. Trade unions face the same treatment and challenges nationally and in other public sectors.

In the hope that we would be able to discuss this situation with the Romanian authorities, official meetings with the Ministers of Labour and Social Dialogue, the Minister of Transport and the Prime Minister were requested in advance of the visit, but our demand was met with silence.

ETF President, Frank Moreels said: “Social dialogue is a normal process in every democracy, it is the top proof that the political leadership of a country cares for its citizens who actively contribute to keeping the national economy going”. “During our mission, transport trade unions in Romania have delivered a strong message of unity over the last two days. They are facing huge challenges and we are standing in solidarity with them”, Frank Moreels concluded.

Transport workers’ rights in Romania must be respected and the ETF demands that the Romanian government urgently restart dialogue with the social partners. It is the legal obligation of the Romanian government towards the thousands of Romanian transport workers who are contributing substantially with their work to the proper functioning of Romanian society.

The full statement, issued by the ETF at the end of its visit to Romania, can be found here and downloaded at your right.