CN APMC releases false information about the requests of Port Operator and National Federation of Port Trade Unions
Constanta, 30 March 2015
Following the press release sent on 24.03.2015 by “Administratia Porturilor Maritime” S.A. Constanta National Company regarding the requests of the two representative organizations, “Port Operator” Constanta Employers Association makes the following clarifications:
- The protests initiated on 9 March 2015 by the two organizations are not forceful actions but merely a consequence of the numerous previous approaches aimed at regulating the existing problems in respect of the port platform and constantly notified, however not regulated by the harbor authority.
The numerous approaches of the Port Operator aimed at triggering the sub-concession procedures, the repeated requests to be taken advice with in the course of the Master Plan preparation process, and those regarding the clarification of the UDP tariff structure and regarding the need to increase it were entirely ignored by the representatives of CN APMC, who disregarded any proposal that came from the private operators.
The Port Operator and the National Federation of Port Trade Unions indeed refused the dialogue only in the context of the protests in progress, taking the view that at this time any invitations to dialogue are tardy and pointless, the phase of a constructive dialogue being exceeded, and at this time the legitimacy and professional capabilities of the current Board of Directors and executive management being no longer recognized.
- With reference to the Master Plan of the Port of Constanta, the Port Operator and the National Federation of Port Trade Unions have not challenged at any time the need and importance of preparing such project for the Port of Constanta, but have constantly notified that CN APCM prepared it in bad faith, making available erroneous and false data to the consultant, that this Master Plan is entirely inconsistent with the General Transport Master Plan of Romania, and it was prepared in the absence of any previous consultations between the national company and the harbor community.
At the same time, we mention that, albeit the Master Plan is not a “restrictive document”, CN APMC refused to reply to the notifications and critiques formulated by the operators, and at the meeting of 9 March 2015 there was only a presentation of the consultant, the standpoints expressed and questions asked on that occasion by the harbor community also remaining unanswered.
- Tariff policy of CN APMC is not transparent.
Albeit CN APMC was requested on numerous occasions to communicate in a transparent and broken down manner the tariffs applied by the company, and also a complete and grounded motivation of the requested increase, CN APMC called forth the fact that all this information represents ”a component of the commercial strategy of the company”, and cannot be disclosed.
At the same time, although the structure of the UDP tariff was bilaterally agreed and accepted by mutual consent in the contract executed between the parties, over the time the same was constantly changed without the consent of the port operators, and currently covers expenses for inexistent services.
As a consequence, we believe that the unilateral change in tariffs, abusively submitted in the form of addenda and related fiscal invoices, in the absence of prior negotiation, albeit according to the existing contracts these may only be revised with the parties’ consent, represents an abuse through the infringement of the applicable laws.
With reference to the rent rises and the impact of such rise on the operational expenses of the port operators, we estimate that it will have a significant impact on the budget, business plans and existence of each company, and will affect the competitiveness at regional level, at the same time resulting in a reduced traffic through the Port of Constanta.
- As regards the statement of the representatives of CN APMC, according to which the procedure of sub-concession of the public property goods “was triggered ever since the past years, being currently in progress and continent on the current legislative context”, we mention that over the past 15 years the port operators explicitly indicated their agreement, individually or through the Organization, on the triggering of the negotiation procedure and execution of the sub-concession contracts with CN APMC, as concessionaire of these goods.
At the same time, we mention that currently the legal framework necessary for the triggering of this procedure exists, that is, the Government Decision (HG) 80/2008, for the approval of concession through the direct allocation of the public property goods administered by the Ministry of Transport, the Government Ordinance (OG) 22/1999 on the administration of ports and waterways, the Government Urgency Ordinance (OUG) 54/2006 on the contracts of concession of public properties.
Thus, notwithstanding the existing legal regulations, despite all the operators’ approaches, including the communication of a draft contract, and at the same time all the aspects regarding the legal and organizational framework related to the triggering of this procedure being clarified and agreed on, we believe that these procrastinations have no objective reason, are intentional and adversely affect the development strategy of each operator.
- With reference to the statement that “the Port Operator Employers Association does not represent the entire harbor community, but merely 4-5 companies in the Port of Constanta”, we mention that “Port Operator” Constanta Association was established ever since 1992, being the only employers’ organization representative in relation to the port platform, which represents, fosters and defends the economic, technical and legal interests of its members.
Currently this has 35 members who contribute through their operations with over 85% to the revenues of the Administration of the Port of Constanta, and their 6,000 employees account for more than 60% of the total headcount employed on the port platform.
We also mention that the regulation of the notified problems is in the interest of the entire harbor community.
About ”Port Operator” Constanta Employers Association
It is composed of 36 companies active in the harbor operations industry.
The member companies of the Employers Association have over 6,000 employees, which account for more than 60% of the total headcount in the harbor operations industry.
The operations of the member companies of the Employers Association contribute with over 85% to the revenues of the Administration of the Port of Constanta (CN APM).
The Employers Association’s operations brought about 2 million Euros to the local budget in the period 2011-2013, which accounts for about 30% of this budget.