Romania: Amendments to law on social dialogue proposed in parliament
In May 2015, the Romanian Parliament adopted a set of amendments to the Social Dialogue Act. However, in June, the President sent the law back to Parliament for reexamination, claiming that the criteria for representativeness of unions at company level must be reduced.
One of the central issues on agenda of trade unions’ in Romania continues to be the provisions of Law 62/2011 on social dialogue. Adopted in 2011, it abolished the national collective bargaining system and increased the representativeness criteria for social partners at unit and sector level, thus limiting the possibility for collective bargaining. The result is a drastic decrease in the number of collective agreements concluded at sectoral level in the last four years.
In 2013, the trade unions submitted a draft law (PL-x nr. 460/2013, in Romanian) aiming to amend the law on social dialogue. This was adopted by the Parliament in May 2015. The new law stipulates that the trade union fee be retained by the employer and transferred to the trade union organisation, without reaching the employee first; the transfer should be operated by the employer with the employee’s prior consent and upon the trade union’s request. The law also regulates on the competence of the National Tripartite Council for Social Dialogue (NTSDC) in establishing the sectors of economic activity. And it and provides for the right of the representative trade union federations to hold collective bargaining at unit level if the company’s trade union organisation is not representative. Since the representativeness threshold for unions at company level is currently 50%+1, the latest provision would create the context for a revival of collective bargaining in the establishment.
The law was sent to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis for signing, but in June 2015 he sent it back to Parliament for re-examination. Mr Iohannis claimed that the provision referring to the direct payment by the employer of trade union fee does not respect the employees’ right to fully and freely dispose of their wage. The President also referred to the need to reduce the representativeness threshold for trade unions at company level, in order to ensure the right to collective bargaining. The initial draft law had provided for a reduction in the representativeness threshold for the unions at company level from 50%+1 to 30% +1, but this proposal was rejected during the legislative process.