The management of the Romanian state-owned coal and power complex CE Oltenia (CEO) failed to reach an agreement by Tuesday, January 15, with the miners who went on strike at the beginning of the week despite accepting 10-24% wage hikes with the lowest wages hiked by 24%.
The company’s management also promised to approach the Government with the request of waiving the 2% tax on revenues for coal companies, local Hotnews.ro reported.
On the contrary, the strike extended across whole company and the miners of Rosiuta mine blocked the train supposed to transport lignite to the coal-fired power plants. Miners’ organisation asked for 45% wage hike and holiday vouchers (RON 1,450 or some EUR 300 per year).
The minister of energy, Anton Anton, reportedly avoided getting involved in the negotiations and delegated state secretary Doru Visan to deal with the miners’ requests. The Government’s lack of action is likely to further delay the settlement of the conflict.
Miners’ leaders suggested relevant steps the state (specifically the market regulator) could take in order to alleviate the financial difficulties of the company -- including by setting up a so-called “capacity market” that favours producers that can start production on short notice thus providing insurance against adverse natural conditions.
Separately, the Court was expected to rule on January 15 on the legality of the strike, but declaring the conflict illegal will rather aggravate it given the stage of development.
The miners’ wages could be hiked substantially from the current levels of RON 2,500 (EUR 535) unless the Government levied the 2% tax on turnover, former energy minister Razvan Nicolescu commented.
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