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Thousands of Romanian health workers protest salary cuts

April 26, 2018

A Romanian health system employee shouts during a protest outside the Romanian government headquarters, threatening with a general strike, in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, April 26, 2018. Thousands, from across the country, joined a rally protesting against the income law and newly introduced changes in the regulations governing bonuses, which they say, lead to significant losses for the employees. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Thousands of Romanian health care workers on Thursday protested wage cuts outside the government offices in the capital.

Traffic was restricted in downtown Bucharest as up to 10,000 health care workers from all over the country traveled to the capital for the protest. They threatened to go on strike if the government doesn’t resolve their salary issues. Demonstrators blew whistles and vuvuzelas.

Romania’s left-wing government recently approved substantial salary hikes for some state health workers, with some medics seeing their wages more than doubled. However, Leonard Barascu, head of the Sanitas health union, said that at the same time some employees lost up to 1,100 lei ($290) of their net monthly pay.

Health Minister Sorina Pintea met hospital chiefs this week and called on them to manage their resources better to cover wage losses.

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This version corrects the day to Thursday, not Wednesday, and corrects the capital to Bucharest, not Budapest.

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