The site Recorder recently released a video report from the Romanian Black Sea coast, which presented the dramatic situation of the tourism industry’s labour force. The report circulated the idea that there isn’t a sufficient labour pool, which forces employers, who are otherwise well-intentioned, to bring in workers from Southeast Asia and to attract students from the professional high schools for “experience”. The report provoked indignation among many, who commented on Recorder’s YouTube channel, but also among journalists from Romania, who noted immediately that this report was done with the support of the Employers’ Confederation “Concordia”, and mostly represents the interests of employers, while employees’ voices were barely heard.
What are the labour conditions for tourism workers on the Romanian Black Sea coast? How fair is it to bring workers from outside the EU or to propose to students that they “learn the craft”, working without sufficient payment in a company? Are there labour contracts? Is the work programme respected? Are there labour protections? Are there checks by the Territorial Inspectorship of Labour? Maria Cernat spoke with Marin Florian – the president of the Federation of Free Labour Unions in Romania about these issues. Marin Florian worked on the Romanian coast in his youth, as he was born in Mangalia. He is more than familiar with the existing problems in labour relations within Romanian tourism.