Strike at Michelin in Zalau, Romania, 2005

Romanian Michelin HQ

Summary of an article about a strike for a 30% wage hike at Michelin in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei, February 2005. The English is a little ropey but it is interesting nonetheless.

Thirty per cent more wage! Michelin Workers in Romania on Strike
On the 7th of February, the workers of the Michelin plant Silvana in Zalau, northeast of Romania went on an unlimited strike. They used that method after the management kept on ignoring their demand for 30 per cent more wage, even after a warning strike in the end of January. Roughly, 1400 people are working at the plant; almost the whole staff participated in the strike. The Michelin plant is the most important company in the region. Last year they produced 234.000 tires, this year they want almost to double the production. The strikers demand an immediate higher payment of 30 per cent related to last years’ salaries, whereas the management is willing to pay only 3,5 per cent more, possible would be another 2,5 per cent in May. Depending on the economic situation, they could pay another 11 per cent in installments. If considered, that the workers would have a monthly salary of 10 million Lei (ca. 250 Euros [40000 Lei = 1 Euro]), the managements offer is enough, said the management. According to the press, the strike proceeded peaceful. The workers stayed at their work place und simply stopped working. After a week, the strike expanded. At the factory, some vociferous meetings and manifestations took place. They demanded the withdrawal of the management. A writing of the workers demands were sent to the personnel manager, the Romanian CIO of Michelin and to the highest CIO of the company, Eduard Michelin. After a few days, the strike caused big damages for the company. A number of trucks could not been loaded with extraditable goods, so they were obliged to wait. The daily loss of the company was about some hundred million Lei. After two weeks, at the February 18th, the union, which had supported the strike, signed a record, in which they agreed that the workers would resume to work. At the same time they wanted to go on with negotiations. With it, the strike ended. So far, there are no results of the negotiations.

Additional information
According to their own website, Michelin produces truck tires in Zalau. There is another plant in Romania, in Victoria, area Brasov. In Victoria, they produce tires for motor cars. Another plant in Eastern Europe is in a polish city called Olszytn, they produce both tires for trucks and motor cars. There are another plants in Germany, France and Spain.

From prol-position news #2, 5/2005