The Slovenia Times

Employers urged to raise pay, engage in talks on new agreements


ZSSS president Lidija Jerkič warned the employers that if they withdrew from collective bargaining agreements, workers will go on strike.

She said as she addressed several hundred protesters that threats to pull out was a sign of disrespect for workers.

Pergam boss Jakob Počivavšek demanded "intensive" talks on new collective bargaining agreements, saying "it is time for a new deal on higher wages".

He criticised business executives for not sharing economic growth with workers, saying their success came at the expense of workers and taxpayers.

Since the employers are ignoring calls for higher wages, "we are being loud today so that they can hear and see us", he stressed.

If there is no progress, he announced another, an even bigger rally, and urged workers to join trade unions.

Jerkič upheld Počivavšek's call for higher wages for all not just for those on the minimum wage.

"We must put an end to charity campaigns for children and to low pensions. We demand wages which will allow normal living conditions," she said.

Protesters were carrying banners saying "the more you work the less you get", "the economy is an engine which runs down everyone", and "employers, you are greedy, forcing us into poverty".

The rally was also joined by the confederation of public sector trade unions and union leaders from Neodvisnost, KS 90 and Alternativa.

After the rally, Jerkič and Počivavšek met the GZS president and director general, Boštjan Gorjup and Sonja Šmuc, upon the GZS's invitation. However, Jerkič told the press before the meeting she did not expect much from it.

Following the meeting, Gorjup said the chamber called for a mid-term social agreement that would determine the trends in pay in line with productivity and value added.

"The GZS wants the partners to find the energy and step together to form a mid-term social agreement that would give both employers and employees a framework for the movement of wages in the future," he was quoted as saying in a press release.

Wages, especially the minimum, wage was also a major topic at today's annual conference of the Employers' Association, where the association's head Marjan Trobiš criticised plans to change the method for determining the minimum wage put forward by the Left.

According to him, employers do not oppose a rise in the minimum wage, but the way the Left proposes it would ruin every economy, no matter how successful.

"The Left's proposal does not raise the minimum wage by five or more percent, this bill takes away from employers the possibility to determine the wages in their company with a single article," Trobiš said.


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