State sector employees are claiming success in their day of strike action against Romania’s austerity plans, but tens rather than hundreds of thousands appear to have taken to the streets in protest, not the million organisers had hoped for.
It does appear to have swept across the state sector; from prison guards to nurses to teachers to railway drivers; everyone is upset at pay and pension cuts.
“The government should give up these criminal measures, I mean it. They should apply some more coherent economic measures for the medium and long term. We’ll end up starving,” said one man.
“Let’s see a minister give up their salary and live on ours instead. Let’s then see how they manage their lives,” said a woman.
Tomorrow state sector wages are slashed by a quarter and pensions lose 15 percent, a huge blow in a country where, for example, an experienced teacher earns less than 400 euros a month.
Many are also angry thousands of hours of overtime have been unpaid, like ambulance drivers and prison guards who say they are owed 200,000 hours of pay.