Around a thousand trade union members from all over Slovakia travelled to Žilina on May 1 to express their disproval of the government's package of austerity measures and its proposed amendment to the Labour Code which is now headed to parliament, the TASR newswire reported.
"A hundred years ago, our fathers fought for the eight working-hour day, and there are tendencies now to increase the number of working hours to 56 [a week] and overtime hours from the current 400 to 550 [per year]. We can say that the rights of employees are being restricted and there's a need to fight against this," said Trade Union Confederation (KOZ) President Miroslav Gazdík to TASR.
The trade union members also expressed their disagreement with the austerity measures initiated by the government.
"In autumn last year, we protested ... against the government's package of austerity measures. We warned that this would have a negative effect on ordinary families. At that time, we estimated that [household] expenditures would be around €400 higher a year. They accused us of fabrications. Today we're convinced that the figure will be much higher," Gazdík said.
Representatives of trade unions said they are prepared to continue their protests until the final wording of the Labour Code amendment is approved in Parliament.
"The next protest will take place in Nitra on May 15th. Our bodies will decide whether we will use our right and ask the president to announce a referendum," said Gazdík. Opposition Smer party chairman Robert Fico delivered a speech at the Žilina protest.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. May 2011 at 14:00