28 March 2013 14:31 [Source: ICIS news]
BUCHAREST (ICIS)--More than 1,000 Oltchim workers staged a protest on Thursday at the Romania-based chemical producer’s site in Ramnicu Valcea, to demonstrate against unpaid salaries and the company’s alleged plans to cut jobs.
“We get no money since December. Furthermore, there are rumours about Oltchim management planning to cut 1,000 jobs, while there is no clear solution for restarting activity,” said Mihai Diculoiu, a trade union representative.
Romania’s government, which is the majority shareholder in Oltchim, said it is trying to find a solution. “First of all, we will pay all remaining money by the end of this month”, economy minister Varujan Vosganian said on Thursday.
He added there is no plan yet for dismissing people, but “unfortunately, job cuts are necessary”. Vosganian refused to comment further on the issue..
Oltchim’s units are operating at around 10% capacity, and production at its site has been severely restricted for more than a year as a result of a lack of working capital to secure feedstock supplies.
Since early September, there have been several demonstrations at Oltchim by employees protesting over unpaid salaries.
The Romanian government decided on 23 January to begin insolvency procedures in a move intended to pave the way for the company’s future privatisation, as a result of the group’s current economic problems.
Oltchim produces caustic soda, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, inorganic products and building materials, including insulating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for panels, doors and window frames.
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 14.3%. Smaller shareholders hold the balance.
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