Romania

The textile and garment industry is one of the most important sectors of Romanian industry and one of the main employers in Romania, with women being the majority of workers.

Because Romania has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 2007, the country’s labour legislation meets all EU laws and labour standards. The country has also ratified all International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions referred to in Fair Wear Foundation’s Code of Labour Practices except for Conventions 26 and 155.

In 2012 Romania made major changes to the Labour Code to overcome the economic and financial instability caused by the economic crisis in 2008. The biggest impact of the new legislation was the weakened situation of trade unions in the country.

In recent years, Romania has made significant steps towards reducing macroeconomic imbalances, resulting in increasing macroeconomic and financial stability. At the international level, textiles production has shifted from Asia to Eastern European countries, including Romania, since the beginning of 2014. This shift is based on several factors, but the most significant are the continuing escalation of prices in Asia and the uncertain political situation in Egypt and Syria, which push western buyers to countries like Romania.

FWF has been carrying out factory audits in Romania since 2006. The outcomes of these audits show the general areas of concern. The major issues of concern are low wages; trade union representation; and, to some extent, occupational health and safety issues.

Average wages in Romania vary between rural and urban environments. In the North and the East of the country, salaries are lower than in the West, and in the capital.

After the changes in the Labour Code, social dialogue and collective bargaining power in the garment industry became less effective. Even though trade unions worked together to gain members during economic downturn, most factories still lack active worker representation. Often, the worker representatives are not democratically elected by workers and the functioning of worker representatives is affected by low interest and awareness of factory management on the functioning of worker representation.

Among the most common problems related to occupational health and safety are related to building and fire safety. The core issue of concern is insufficient knowledge, awareness and responsibility from business owners, managers and staff about how to provide a safe working environment. Often, risk assessments are carried out by external parties that do not have enough knowledge of the specific risks faced in the garment industry, so they are incomplete or inaccurate.

FWF started to implement the FWF Workplace Education Programme (WEP) in Romania to offer factory trainings on local labour laws and support effective communication between factory management and workers. The priorities for FWF in Romania are wages and social dialogue.

In 2015, 25 FWF members sourced from around 45 factories in Romania.

For questions about FWF’s work in Romania, please contact Rosan van Wolveren.

Indicators

  1. FWF active since: 2006
  2. Complaints handler: yes
  3. Audit teams: 1
  4. FWF members sourcing: 25
  5. Number of suppliers: 55
  6. Human development rank: 50 in 2015
  7. Minimum wage: 1450 Lei (gross) = 344 US$ in 2017
  8. GDP per capita per year (PPP$): 21,610  (PPP $ in 2015)
  9. Income equality value (Gini): 32 in 2016 (based on the Report of the Global Economic Forum)
  10. Population below 1,25$/day: --
  11. Rule of law: 66%  (Rank 32 of 113 countries, according to the Rule of Law Index)
  12. Global Gender Gap Index: 76 in 2016
  13. Child labour (5-14 years): 1%
  14. Trade union situation

Resources

Resources related to Romania

Romania Country Study 2016

The Romanian economy suffered the blow of the 2008 economic crisis, date: 21/11/2016Read more

Romania Complaint Gerhard Roesch May 2015

INITIAL REPORT COMPLAINT IN Romania AT FACTORY SUPPLYING Gerard RO date: 28/03/2014Read more

Projects

Projects in Romania

Workplace Education Programme

FWF members aim for more than participating in auditing. FWF’s Workplace Education Programme (WEP) provides short, targeted onsite training for managers, supervisors and workers. The training aims to raise awareness about the various labour standards and effective methods for communicating about problems and resolving disputes. Managers, supervisors and workers also learn about FWF’s complaints mechanism.

Go to WEP

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