The Slovenia Times

The Unions Hold Out


"If the [austerity] measures do not include the main demands of the ZSSS, the government will have ignored all efforts for the signing of the social pact and we will reject the signing of the social pact guidelines," ZSSS president Dušan Semolič told.

The statement comes after the social partners - the government, unions and employers - harmonised the guidelines for a new social pact for the period 2012-2017 and said they would sign off the document on Tuesday or Wednesday so that talks could continue in earnest.

But Branimir Štrukelj, the head of the Coordination of Public Sector Trade Unions, had suggested immediately after the meeting that there would be problems.

"We're happy with the guidelines...but the presidency will probably take into account the fact that the government is sticking to public sector [savings] measures and the deconstruction of the welfare state, which is not acceptable," he said on Friday.

The Economic and Social Council was adjourned when the social partners started the debate on austerity measures. Faced with the criticism that it had been proposed only expenditure-side measures, the government said it would put forward revenue-side measures by this Thursday.

The government wants the new social pact, an umbrella document on relations between the social partners, finalised by 20 June, when a temporary emergency bill freezing public sector pay and social transfers expires.


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