Protests staged at Romania’s Oltchim over unpaid wages

05 February 2013 16:32  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Hundreds of Oltchim’s workers staged a protest on Tuesday at the Romania-based petrochemicals and plastics producer’s site in Ramnicu Valcea, southern Romania, demonstrating against unpaid salaries and a halt in production due to a shortage of feedstock.

“We are demanding the government to make public any solution for Oltchim as soon as possible. Furthermore, most of the people didn’t get any salary for the last two months,” said Corneliu Cernev, a company representative.

Since early September, there have been several demonstrations at Oltchim by employees protesting over unpaid salaries.

The company on Monday temporarily stopped production at its propylene oxide (PO) and polyether polyols units following a lack of raw materials.

Production at Oltchim has been severely restricted for more than a year as a result of a lack of working capital to secure feedstock supplies.

A government decision for Oltchim to enter insolvency was approved on 30 January by a court in Ramnicu Valcea.

The Romanian government decided on 23 January to start insolvency procedures in a move intended to pave the way for the company’s future privatisation, due to the group’s current economic problems.

The Romanian state holds a 54.8% stake in Oltchim, with Germany-based chemical producer PCC holding 18.3% and Cyprus-based Nachbar Services holding an additional 14.3%. Smaller shareholders hold the balance.

The government cancelled the privatisation of Oltchim on 1 October 2012, saying that the winning bidder – Romanian television station owner Dan Diaconescu - had not provided documents to prove he had the money to purchase the majority stake.

The government has been pushing forward with a new privatisation timetable for the disposal of its majority stake in Oltchim, as part of a commitment to economic restructuring being carried out in consultation with the IMF.

Oltchim produces caustic soda, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, inorganic products and building materials, including insulating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for panels, doors and window frames.

By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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