Ljubljana – The newspaper Dnevnik examines the wave of unionist demands for higher wages in the public and private sectors in Monday’s commentary, finding the issue will be a mobilising force in the general election.
“As the Janez Janša government set exclusive talks with doctors on higher pay as one of the priority goals before the end of its power-mongering, this provoked an instant revolt among unions in other sectors,” writes the paper.
It goes on to point to the broad support for strike among staff in education, 91% of whom voted in favour of an industrial action.
“Almost all country is linked to the education system. It includes tens of thousands of employees and several hundred thousand young people with at least a hundred thousand contractors, suppliers, business partners, parents and their employers depending on the functioning of the system. If education is collapsing, it provokes a domino effect.
“The strike wave that may spill over into other sectors will rank prominently in the run-up to the election. Even though stopping work is not good for the economy it may be cathartic for voters and their civic awareness.
“Political parties will be forced to take positions on fundamental issues about the importance of worker rights. If society is looking for a new ‘plebiscitarian’ question about a common future such as the one shaped in last year’s waters act referendum, Janša has in fact already gifted it to citizens.
On election day there will not be the populist referendum on taxes and wages that he had announced. But the election as such will be – a referendum,” concludes the piece headlined Referendum on Workers’ Rights.