Jiu Valley reopens to traffic as road-blocking coalminers put protest on hold

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Traffic on National Road (DN) 66 between Jiu Valley cities Petrosani and Targu Jiu (country south-west) resumed at around 4:00 p.m., as the rallying coalminers headed home, putting their protest on hold until Friday morning.

The leaders of the miners said they were ready to negotiate with a committee of the Ministry of Economy, but on their turf in Petrosani, and turned down the invitation received from the authorities this afternoon to send representatives to Bucharest for talks. President of the Muntele’ Trade Union Petru Nica said the unions are OK with overnight negotiations, asserting that there are solutions on hand to break this standoff.

Meanwhile, the vehicles stuck in Petrosani and along the Vulcan-Lupeni-Petrosani connecting route filed on more than three kilometers. During the road blockade, the miners allowed transit of the bridge across the Jiu only for ambulance cars and emergency cases. Towards the end of the protest, two Gendarmerie cars arrived at the site and the servicemen offered the miners hot tea.

„Our sole grievance is for a RON 100 increase of the hazard pay. What does this money mean? For some it’s a trifle, but not so for those who work in the underground. We do not ask for wage increases, although they have been frozen since 2008,” Petru Nica said on Monday, when the wildcat protest of the over 3,000 Jiu Vally miners broke out.

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