The Slovenia Times

Precarious jobs in spotlight ahead of Labour Day


Slovenia has been seeing a dramatic increase in precarious forms of work, bogus self-employment, unpaid internships and undeclared work, the country's largest trade union confederation, ZSSS, has warned on the occasion.

However, employment security and decent pay are not the sole elements of quality jobs, the confederation added, pointing to training opportunities, professional promotion and healthy working conditions, among other things.

The division of the Confederation of Trade Unions 90 covering the coastal region says that more than 40% of all jobs involve precarious employment arrangements, while the rate of such jobs among young people exceeds 75%.

A major threat in their opinion is that despite the record high GDP the number of self-employed workers has been increasing so they already represent 12% of all employees.

According to the organisation, workers in Slovenia are increasingly overworked and burnt out so they are leaving Slovenia for better paid jobs abroad.

One problem is that, out of the three million euro worth of fines issued last year, the Labour Inspectorate only enforced 40%. "This shows that breaking labour law continues to pay for the offender," said Damjan Volf, the secretary general of the coastal chapter of the trade union.

Labour Day is celebrated world-wide in commemoration of the Haymarket massacre in Chicago in 1886, where several workers taking part in strikes for an eight-hour working week and eight police officers were killed.

In Slovenia May Day has been celebrated since the early 20th century. It was designated as national holiday in 1948.

Celebrations traditionally include bonfires on the eve the holiday and brass bands playing reveille early on Labour Day, followed by get-togethers. Maypoles and red carnations are also associated with the holiday.

The biggest event will be held on Ljubljana's Rožnik hill tonight. Organised by the country's largest trade union confederations, it will feature speeches by trade unionists, music and a large bonfire.

On Tuesday President Borut Pahor will address a Labour Day event on Šmohor, a hill near the north-eastern town of Laško, and Prime Minister Miro Cerar will deliver the keynote in Šentjernej (SE).


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