Four major trade union confederations in Romania are progressing to a projected merger as four-party talks last weekend focused on a first common goal. Leaders of the BNS, CSDR, CNSLR-Fratia and Meridian trade union groups agreed to decide this week what forms of protest would they apply to force government to respond to a long array of claims from Romanian workers.

BNS leader Dumitru Costin says such common actions exclude street protests because the government does not respond to them and continue to ignore the workers’ problems. “We gave the government an ultimatum of one week to seat and negotiate with us. There’ve been reshuffles and restructurings in the government, but our problems remain unchanged”, he told

They claim a minimum salary of 500 RON as the one set by the government - 390 RON - is seen as much too low. They also claim more investments in human resources, which only receive 0.5% of the GDP in Romania compared to some 3% in European countries.

And they would press for better answers in negotiations between the authorities and the trade unions in the health and education systems.