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Trade associations and unionists protest

ABOUT 20 tradesmen protested outside the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on March 20 against the proposed amendment to the Labour Code, saying it's a threat to their livelihood.

The vice-president of the Slovak Trade Association, Stanislav Čižmárik, said his group firmly rejects the draft amendment to the Labour Code because it damages the rights and freedoms of the self-employed.

"The self-employed, especially groups of craftsmen, are concerned that their activities might be considered 'dependent work'," said Peter Masár, the president of the Slovak Craft Industry Federation.

Trade unionists, however, argue that the definition of dependent work should prevent employers from forcing employees to become self-employed.

Deputy Minister Emília Kršíkova of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs said that the self-employed were manipulated into the campaign against the new labour legislation.

The next day, about 200 members of the trade union organizations OZ KOVO and Metalurg staged a protest in front of the headquarters of the National Employers' Association (RÚZ) in Bratislava. The March 21 protest was against the "hysterical stance of employers" toward the draft amendment to the Labour Code.

Trade unions expect the draft amendment to guarantee them rights standard in EU countries.

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