Smer signs cooperation deal with unions

SLOVAKIA'S strongest opposition party, the social-democratic Smer, signed a cooperation deal with a number of labour unions yesterday, promising to promote their interests if it enters government after the June 17 parliamentary elections.

In the deal, Smer pledged the following: to reinstate the tripartite arrangement in which government, employers and unions discuss societal issues; to raise the minimum wage to 60 percent of the national average wage within five years; to amend the Labour Code in keeping with European standards; and to institute a dual VAT rate, the TASR news wire wrote.

The unions, which represent industries employing some 700,000 people, agreed to publicly promote Smer and to try to persuade its members to vote for the party. Smer has had a similar arrangement with the KOZ (Confederation of Trade Unions) for the past two years.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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