The state-owned Romanian TV station TVR will lay off almost 700 people at the beginning of February, a move meant to help the company cut costs and re-balance its finances, according to Romanian media. The decision was approved on Wednesday (January 25 ) by the TVR board. The company will end up with 2,450 employees.
Another measure aimed at helping TVR get out of its EUR 65 million debt is re-scheduling its due fiscal payments over the next seven years, which was already approved by the Government.
In November last year, TVR started restructuring its personnel, with a first step in the professional selection. The selection included writing a job description, a test and an interview. However, some commentators say the selection was not a restructuring process, but rather a combing-out process.
As many as 2,562 employees took part in the selection, out of the 2,784 who were summoned. TVR currently has over 3,100 employees, but some were protected from the selection process: those on maternity leave, pregnant women, those who had just returned from the maternity leave, those who were on unpaid leave, and those whose work contracts ended in 2012.
Ada Mesesan, member of the TVR board, who voted against the layoffs, said the selection process was biased. “The clearest evidence: 695 appeals were submitted and even though it was admitted that errors were made in the evaluation – only 350 appeals were approved,” said Ada Mesesan, quoted by Mediafax.
TVR currently has a loss of some EUR 134 million, as reported in December 2012, 15 percent lower than in July 2012, when Claudiu Saftoiu, former presidential adviser, took over at the helm of TVR.