Romania’s biggest trade union demands ‘urgent’  salary and pension hikes

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Romania’s main trade union is staging a protest Thursday in the capital to demand a raise in salaries and pensions and a cut in the cost of living.

Cartel Alfa, which represents public workers, said it expects 5,000 to take part in the demonstration outside the government headquarters in downtown Bucharest.

Convoys from Transylvania and Moldova were headed to Thursday’s protest, the union said, reported.

”Energy, food and other prices have spiraled upwards, impoverishing millions of workers. Meanwhile, the government, economists and bankers are putting more pressure on people, through raising interest rates, while energy companies have record profits,” the union said in a statement.

Despite their dissatisfaction, the wages of public workers are 30 percent higher than in the private sector. In Romania, some 1.2 million people work in the public sector.

Romania’s annual inflation rate soared to 15.9 percent in September with food prices 19.12 percent higher compared to the year before.

The union said the price hikes were forcing companies to close, accusing the government of being “superficial” about the situation.

The protest will start in Victory Square and move to Revolution Square Thursday afternoon.

Cartel Alfa claims to have 600,000 members.

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