Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thousands march in Romania to protest low salaries

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Some 7,000 workers and trade unionists have marched around the Romanian parliament to demand higher salaries and better working conditions.

Whistling and jeering workers from sectors ranging from education to refineries joined Tuesday's march and chanted "thieves! thieves!" in a protest aimed at lawmakers.

Petru Dandea, deputy leader of union Cartel Alfa, says workers want conditions comparable with colleagues in Western Europe.

He says just 15 percent of Romania's 5 million labor force enjoy decent working conditions.

Four trade unions who organized the protest want a minimum monthly salary of 900 lei ($310). It is currently 540 lei ($186).

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