International Labor Organization

Romania is in breach of ILO Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining

The complainants denounce the Government’s failure to ensure compliance with the principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining which has resulted in widespread violations in law and in practice.

National legislation should encourage social dialogue, allow the establishment of trade unions and employers’ organizations under the existing socio-economic conditions, leave partners free to negotiate and sign collective agreements, and allow strike action, all in line with an adequate legal framework for social protection.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) with its headquarters in Geneva is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labor standards. In March 2021, ILO has responded to a complaint filed by a number of international and national organizations. The complainants indicated shortcomings and gaps in the national legislation, denial of freedom of association and collective bargaining in many enterprises, and systematic violations of fundamental rights of workers, including physical and verbal abuse, especially in the private sector.

What is the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining to address the challenges posed by the shortages of staff in the civil aviation sector?

When we think of the one strong reason why we think trade unions are important for young and experienced workers, it can be none other than the ability to bargain collectively, and the only way to get collective rights is through union membership.

Considering the hostile behavior of private aviation companies in Romania towards the freedom of association of employees, we can safely declare that the aviation industry has become so unattractive that most aviation personnel are simply not interested anymore in this industry.

The ILO Committee invites the Romanian Government to review the minimum membership requirement to establish a trade union, in full consultation with the social partners, and to take any appropriate measures to ensure that all workers can form and join organizations of their own choosing. It also encourages the Government to promote effective recognition of collective bargaining at all levels, as an effective means of balancing the terms and conditions of employment and contributing to the development and maintenance of constructive labor relations.

Taking into consideration the negative effects that anti-union retaliation can have on trade union affiliation and functioning, the Committee requests the Government to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations of persistent anti-union retaliation at the air transport enterprises and, should these be confirmed, ensure the availability of effective remedies for the persons concerned, as well as sufficiently dissuasive sanctions.

The reality is that aviation employees do not trust the current state of affairs, and unless they get collective interests represented by modern, progressive unions, they risk abandoning their careers in this bleak post-Covid future.

Cooperation is the key. Trade unions have been loud flagging the issues which have affected our members. Extensive work has to be done, not only to support and retain the current workforce through this very demanding situation but also to attract new talent.

Read more FPU Romania: Reporting for duty

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