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Romanian unions'  change proposals in IMF letter: differential income tax, freezing pensions and suspending state companies' privatisation during crisis

de Ioana Morovan, transl/adapt. C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 17 mai 2010, 18:54 English | Top News

Unions in Romania came with their own crisis management proposals, as alternative to the Government's proposal: differential tax on salaries, a minimum guaranteed income of 705 lei, freezing pensions and cancelling privatisations until the crisis is behind. The measures have been announced on Monday, before the Economic Social Committee (CES) came together. The unionists believe that their proposals stand 50% a chance to be voted in CES, while the Government's proposals chances are inexistent.

Here are the unions' proposals to alter the intention letter for the IMF:

  • Instead of reducing public sector salaries by 25%, unions propose reducing the salaries, bonuses and other gains' fund by collective agreements at the sectors' level or branch.
  • Instead of cutting pensions by 15%, unions propose freezing pensions.
  • Union members propose taxing salaries differently, which would represent 0.1% of the GDP.
  • An increase in imposing the income tax and eliminating meal tickets. Companies with major state capital are extremely affected by the tax on meal tickets on one hand, and, on the other, by reducing the salary fund by 25%, union members consider. They claim it is immoral to ask them to restructure, "when these structures have already gone through a strong restructuring". National Railway transporting goods, namely CFR Marfa, alone sacked 7,000 people, unionists say.
  • The unions do not agree with cancelling collective contracts and propose the minimum guaranteed salary of 705 lei staring May 2010, to combat labour market evasion.
  • Union representatives proposed for privatisation to cease during the crisis for the large state companies and authorities.
  • While the Government proposes cutting 9,200 hospital beds, unions' figures are 5,500, while the number of hospitals to be shut down should be 100, in contrast to the Government's figures, namely 150. But these institutions will have to be transformed into diagnosis centres and social assistance centres.

Union members presented their proposals before the CES met today. They claim the Government's proposals do not stand a chance to be validated, while theirs have got 50%.
























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