The Slovenia Times

Employers Threaten to Exit Social Pact over Minimum Wage


The governing board of the Association of Employers (ZDS) decided at Tuesday's session that it will make this move should the government and parliament endorse the proposed changes to the minimum wage act.

The motion proposing that bonuses for night, weekend and holiday work would be excluded from the minimum wage was filed in parliament by seven trade union associations on 10 September.

The initiative for these bonuses to be paid separately on top of the minimum wage has already been endorsed by the coalition parties, which agreed that the rights of workers should be equalised regardless of the income they earned.

The ZDS has meanwhile been warning ever since the motion was launched in February that the trade unions are negating social dialogue, violating the current social pact and the relative convention of the International Labour Organisation.

The convention clearly defines the role of both social partners in the process of defining, changing and harmonising the minimum wage, according to the association.

"Employers have been excluded from the process of definition of the minimum wage for a second time. First it happened in 2010, when it was raised by almost a quarter," the ZDS said in a press release.

The association thinks that it does not make sense to discuss the trade union's proposal within the Economic and Social Council when it has already been unilaterally filed in parliament and enjoyed the coalition's support.

It thus does not agree to a "fictitious debate on such an important issue". "We also do not agree that those who pay wages in the economy are prisoners of non-dialogue under constant threat of unilateral political acts, whose costs are being paid by businesses," the ZDS concluded.

Labour Minister Anja Kopač Mrak regretted the response from employer representatives. "I count on reason. It is hard to expect any changes now that the coalition parties have fully endorsed the minimum wage bill," she told the press ahead of a coalition meeting.

Noting that much effort had been invested in social dialogue, Kopač Mrak said the proposal was specific as it was a citizens' initiative.

Head of the ruling Modern Centre Party (SMC) deputy group Simona Kustec Lipicer added that all aspects would be broached as part of the upcoming parliamentary debate and that a just decision would be taken within the legal boundaries.


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