Romanian government agrees to pay remaining salaries at Oltchim

11 April 2013 16:36  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--The Romanian government on Thursday decided to set aside Romania New Lei 20.9m (€4.8m, $6.2m) to pay the remaining salaries of the 3,318 employees at chemical producer Oltchim.

“All employees will get their remaining money and so the protests will have to end,” economy minister Varujan Vosganian said on Thursday.

Oltchim workers have for several months been staging sporadic protests at Oltchim's production site in Ramnicu Valcea, in central south Romania. On Wednesday, around 1,000 workers travelled to Bucharest and protested outside the government's headquarters over unpaid wages and prospective job cuts.

In a related development, Vosganian added that Oltchim’s privatisation process has to be restarted in June.

“There are already six important companies interested in getting the majority stake at Oltchim”, Vosganian said. He refused to comment further on the issue..

Production at Oltchim’s units is currently severly restricted as a result of a lack of working capital to secure feedstock supplies.

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.

(€1 = New Lei 4.39, $1 = New Lei 3.36)

By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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