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Trade unions, employers' organizations call for Labor Minister's resignation

Leaders of unions and patronages requested on Tuesday the resignation of the Labour minister, Ioan Botis dissatisfied for the way negotiations took place on the labour code. The minister blocked any resolution on talks over the labor code, ALFA Cartel President Bogdan Hossu declared.'There is no point in wasting our time with a minister who disregards the social partners,' president of the 'Cartel Alfa' National Trade Union Confederation, Bogdan Hossu, declared on Tuesday. He said that there are many issues with the new Labor Code related to the working time, the termination of employment, but also with the right to strike, and voiced his belief that Parliament will not vote such a project.

Unions call for a meeting with PM Boc and mediation from the President. Hossu warned that if the social partners will not be taken into account, they can make use of violence on the streets, just like in Greece. OM Boc announced his plans to meet them at 5PM.

Hossu complained that minister Botis does not take into account his social partners and that he will call for his resignation to the Prime Minister. Unions and patronages negotiated with minister Botis over the labour code. Botis declared after the meeting that he reached an agreement with a part of the patronages and that the labour code will be ready by January 21st, the Minister was referring to the Alliance of Romanian Employers' Confederations (ACPR).'As of December 20, 2010, we published on the Ministry's website our version of the Labor Code. Today [on Tuesday], a part of the Romanian employers' organizations support the version published by us. There is an ACPR statement in this respect. It remains for us to further sit down with the trade unions and the other employers' organizations to discuss the changes they consider these laws need to undergo,' Botis said.

The tripartite commission made up of trade union, employers' organization and government representatives, on Tuesday had an expert level meeting to discuss the draft document amending the Labor Code.

Negotiations should be completed by January 21, 2011, when a meeting with the Prime Minister and with all the presidents of union and employers' organizations is scheduled.

Between December 10 - 20, 2010, the bill amending and supplementing Law No. 532003 - Labor Code, with all subsequent amendments and add-ons, has been subjected to public debate on the website of the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection (MMFPS). The trade unions and employers' organizations had previously refused to discuss the version proposed by investors and academics, and which fell short of the MMFPS approval anyway.

The current proposals for the amendment of the Labor Code are strongly challenged by trade unions and employers' organizations. Labor law experts hold that some proposals benefit neither the employees, nor the employers.

'The proposed amendments to the Labor Code, especially those related to the individual employment on a determined period can instill a feeling of uncertainty about tomorrow among the employees,' said lawyer Costel Gilca, an expert in Labor Law and former legal advisor with the European Court of Justice.

He said that by accepting the current amendments, the employers could have difficulties in protecting intellectual property rights.

At the same time, one of the proposals for amending the Labor Code run counter to the EU directives as concerns discrimination and could result in the reduction of the number of lawsuits won in court by employees, as the cited lawyer argues. 'As for the regulation of work relations for employees, I personally think that is an experiment run in Romania,' said Costel Gilca.