A 58-year old man, a former employee of Mechel Campia Turzii factory, recently killed himself, and his former colleagues, who are currently trying to recover their due salaries from their former employers, say the lack of money was to blame for the man ending his life. The man had been laid off in the beginning of February, and, like many of his former colleagues, had not received the financial compensation package. His colleagues say he did not have money to pay his off bank loan installment, so he hanged himself.
“The stress and the tough moments got to him. We don’t know if he had any other problems, but for sure the situation here got to him,” said Ion Vuta, one of the union leaders from Mechel Campia Turzii.
The man had been a turner at the Mechel factory. He had two daughters, and during the previous days the bank gave him a notice to pay his installments, but he did not have the money, according to his former colleagues.
Over 100 former employees from Mechel Campia Turzii are currently protesting, for the third day in a row, outside the factory, to receive their compensation packages. The new owners of the factory, the company Invest Nikarom, recently took over Mechel’s four factories in Romania for the symbolic sum of USD 70. The factories also have a debt of some EUR 570 million, mostly to companies in the group.
The four factories, Ductil Steel S.A., Campia Turzii S.A., Mechel Targoviste S.A., and Laminorul S.A were temporarily closed down in fall 2012, because of the unfavorable prices on European markets, with the growing price of scrap metal and the low demand for final products.
The former employees at Campia Turzii say they were entitled to receive three salaries as redundancy pay within 45 days of being laid-off. In total, 700 people made redundant in January and February are entitled to get around RON 3,500 to RON 4,000 (some EUR 780 to EUR 900), and protesters say they were counting on the money to pay bank loans and bills.
According to the Minister Delegate for Social Dialogue Doina Pană, the new shareholders of the factory have good intentions, but its bank accounts are blocked. However, they had previously said they will try to pay all the due money to former employees by March 15.
As many as 1,700 people have been laid off from the factory since June 2012, and only one department stayed open, with 300 employees.