“The total number of applications submitted since the beginning of the current voluntary layoff scheme reached 2,700. If we detract the 1,100 approved files of workers who left the steel plant on January 1 every two weeks, we have 1,600 pending files. The board has not announced any exact figure for March 15, because now, we have a bigger problem, temporary layoff”, said the first vice president of Galati branch of Union Federation of Steelworkers – Metarom, Adrian Adascalitei.

The leave from the steel plant will be made based on request. The deadline for submitting leave applications is March 31. Each application, together with the file of the applicant will be analyzed by a commission established by the board of the company. The applications from pensioners and those suffering from medical problems take precedence. The workers whose leave request is approved by the board will leave home with consistent pay packages: severances between 10,000 and 25,000 lei to which is added the equivalent of 6 to 24 monthly salaries plus a 5,000 lei aid for those suffering from chronic medical condition.

By the end of 2008 the workforce at Galati-based steel plant stood at 13,600. On March 1, it fell to 12,500 after the layoff of 1,100 workers through the current voluntary leave scheme. The board hopes to reach to 10,000 workers by 2012. The board will run a structured reorganization program in all sectors, aimed to reduce loss and costs and improve production efficiency.