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Tripartite negotiations in Slovakia fail on minimum wage increase

The Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Viera Tomanová, said on September 28 to the TASR newswire that she will submit a proposal to raise the minimum wage by 8.1 percent to the government on September 30 without the unanimous backing of the tripartite social partners – unions, employers and government. Her decision came after trade unionists and employers failed to reach agreement earlier in the day. Trade unionists have agreed to the 8.1 percent increase while the employers have rejected it. “We have been pushing for a proposal not to raise it (the minimum wage) from the start, arguing that the timing is wrong due to the financial and economic crisis,” said Marián Jusko, president of the Republic Union of Employers (RÚZ).

The Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Viera Tomanová, said on September 28 to the TASR newswire that she will submit a proposal to raise the minimum wage by 8.1 percent to the government on September 30 without the unanimous backing of the tripartite social partners – unions, employers and government. Her decision came after trade unionists and employers failed to reach agreement earlier in the day.

Trade unionists have agreed to the 8.1 percent increase while the employers have rejected it. “We have been pushing for a proposal not to raise it (the minimum wage) from the start, arguing that the timing is wrong due to the financial and economic crisis,” said Marián Jusko, president of the Republic Union of Employers (RÚZ).

The crisis has had severe effects on the economy and the number of unemployed people, Jusko pointed out. “We believe that fighting for each job is one of the key tasks facing government. With respect to this situation, we view the minimum wage going up as a measure that will increase joblessness rather than create new jobs.”

Under the ministry's proposal, the minimum wage will be raised on January 2010 by 8.1 percent from €295.50 to €319.50. The Labour Ministry is required by law to submit a proposal regarding the minimum wage by the end of September.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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