The Slovenia Times

Threat of a General Strike


The negotiating group representing the other half of private sector employees also held a meeting today, but president Drago Ščernjavič would not reveal its position.

The KSJS, on the other hand, called upon other trade unions to support a general strike as soon as possible. They wish to work together with the other unions, therefore the date of the strike was not yet set.

"We are offering the government time to reach a reasonable agreement," said KSJS head Branimir Štrukelj, adding that it was unacceptable to make such deep cuts in welfare. "This is the beginning of the disintegration of the welfare state."

Štrukelj said the government had changed a part of the proposal between Friday and Tuesday, the day of the first meeting between the unions and the government, which shows that the measures are incomplete.

The KSJS president is also very critical of the fact that among more than a hundred measures there is not a single one that would put an additional burden on the richest, at least at a symbolic level.

Štrukelj strongly objects to the perception of the public sector as promoted by the government: that public sector employees are "parasites, just an expense and that we contribute noting to society...We teach, we heal, we nurture, we protect, we make sure that the country works."

The next meeting with the government side is scheduled for Thursday and Štrukelj hopes that the position expressed today will make the government realize that measures must be adjusted so as to be acceptable for most citizens.

Meanwhile, Justice and Public Administration Minister Senko Pličanič, who is representing the government in the negotiations, was not happy that the trade unions are announcing strike before they even started negotiating the contents of the austerity measures.


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