Romania: 20,000 state finance workers strike over wages

Some 20,000 finance workers from Romania's public sector went on strike Monday to protest a move to cut their salaries, a trade union leader said.

Finance ministry employees who staged a walkout are opposed to a draft law that a trade union says will lead to salaries being slashed by 10 to 35 percent.

Vasile Marica who heads the Sed Lex trade union told The Associated Press: "The strike is continuing," and may run into Tuesday, adding "These wage cuts are not all right." He said union leaders had unsuccessfully tried to resolve the issue for two weeks with government officials.

The National Federation of Finance Trade Unions wants the government to maintain current bonuses that reflect "the complexity and importance" of work performed by finance ministry employees and agencies subordinated to the ministry.

Bogdan Stan, who heads the government agency responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement, urged employees on Monday to give up their strike, saying he had made a proposal for employees to retain a 15 percent bonus they currently receive.

Marica said union leaders will meet with Finance Minister Viorel Stefan on Wednesday.