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“It’s very hard to conduct a legal strike here.”

Translated Friday 4 April 2008, by Gene Zbikowski

Alexandre Ticlea, a lawyer and professor of labor law in Bucharest, discusses the many barriers to striking legally under Rumanian law.

“I don’t know the details of the industrial conflict at Dacia in Pitesti, but what I can tell you is that Rumanian legislation is very restrictive as concerns the right to strike. The laws (numbers 1 to 38, enacted in 1999) require three cumulative conditions for a strike to be legal. First, the strike has to be linked to a conflict of interest that existed before contract negotiations began, and this conflict has to have been registered. Secondly, the decision to launch the strike has to be taken either by at least half the members of the union, or else a quarter of the workers if there is no trade union. Thirdly, the employers have to be given a 48-hour minimum advance warning of the strike.

“In the Dacia strike, management has gone to court but I don’t know the terms of the complaint. Despite everything, I think that this strike is going to be declared illegal, because it’s very hard to conduct a legal strike in Rumania. The constitution guarantees the right to strike, but in practice, it’s very difficult to meet the conditions, and most of the time, strikes are declared illegal. Moreover, the Rumanian trade unions lodged a complaint with the International Labor Organization at the July, 2007 conference."

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