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Moldovan miners demand restoration of early retirement

14 March, 2017A sharp increase in the retirement age in Moldova has deprived miners of their benefits. The miners have appealed for support to the Federation of Constructions and Building Materials Trade Unions of the Republic of Moldova (FCBMTU).

Pension reform legislation came into force in Moldova on 1 January 2017. It includes a gradual increase in retirement age of women and men to 63 years. This measure is one of the conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund according to the Memorandum of Cooperation concluded with authorities of Moldova in 2016. The change took place despite critical remarks about low life expectancy in Moldova, and claims that many workers will not survive to their retirement age.
According to the new legislation miners lose their right to early retirement at the age of 54, and will retire with the same conditions as other workers. The changes affected about 1,000 miners, 218 of which are members of the union.
Chair of the FCBMTU Viktor Talmach states:

“These people deliberately chose to work in difficult and harmful conditions, because the legislation provided them with the right of early retirement. Now they are collecting signatures and writing to state officials demanding a change to the law to restore their benefits”.

The miners appealed to the FCBMTU and started collecting signatures against the increased retirement age based on a preferential list of jobs entitled to benefits including early retirement. In its turn, the Federation appealed to the National Confederation of Trade Unions of Moldova and sent a letter to the government of the Republic of Moldova.
Currently, the Federation is negotiating with the Ministry of Labour over a meeting with representatives of the employer and employees to clarify the circumstances of the issue. The miners are preparing to hold protests with the coordination of their trade union.