Romanian Air traffic controllers start industrial action – pay, conditions and passenger safety

(12 May 2017)  The Romanian air traffic controllers will stage a 2-hour warning strike Friday 12 May.  If the employer does not come around, a general strike for an unlimited period of time will be starting next week. EPSU has sent letters in support to the employer ROMATSA, to the Minister of Transport and the Prime Minister.

As of the end of May, the employees of the Romanian air traffic company Romatsa will not be covered by a collective agreement as the old one expires. Talks with the employer have not resulted in an agreement after 14 months. Discussions covered pay, passenger safety, stress at work and rights of workers. The union says there is a considerable increase in the number of aircrafts to be controlled in a European airspace in the region that is complex. While the numbers of flights has increased and hence the level of income for the company as well, the employees of Romatsa company have been asked to reduce the costs severely. The union is pointing out that this is dangerous as it jeopardises the safety of the users of the air traffic services. It will increase the stress at work of the controllers and other staff. The union has noticed that the budget allocated to the company cannot cover the costs of the company until the end of the year. It does not foresee that wages will be paid. The budget for the company has been wrongly calculated.

The ministry of transportation has refused to talk to the union. Talks with the company managers, who have been nominated temporarily for 3 months each in the last year, and this in violation of the legal provisions, have led to no results.There have been important “omissions” in management, due to the fragmented nominations of the managers, which affect the air traffic control and the safety of the users of these services.