Unions Walk Out of Tripartite Talks due to Move by Labour Minister

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tripartite talks (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 24 (TASR) – The Trade Union Confederation (KOZ) quit a tripartite meeting on Monday and suspended social dialogue, KOZ President Marian Magdosko told a news conference held on the same day.

This came in response to a move by Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (We Are Family), who during the meeting asked employers alone to discuss the minimum wage for next year, which is viewed by KOZ as a flagrant violation of the social dialogue.

“The labour minister invited representatives of employers to individual talks after we announced our disapproval of his proposal. Subsequently, [representatives of the Government] left for 25 minutes to consult with employers as to what proposal the Government should submit jointly with employers. This is an unprecedented and gross violation of tripartite talks,” stated Magdosko, adding that KOZ bodies will decide what to do next in the next few days and will inform trade union headquarters in Brussels and the International Labour Organisation about the situation due to its extremely serious nature.

“The social dialogue in Slovakia has been built up over 30 years. Such a situation has appeared only once during this period – during the term of Vladimir Meciar’s government,” stated KOZ Vice-president Monika Uhlerova.

According to KOZ, the labour minister during the talks modified the minimum wage draft by dropping a proposal to introduce a start-up minimum wage. Meanwhile, the ministry changed its proposed minimum wage from €620 per month to €623, stating that a formula based on which the minimum wage should be automatically increased should be scrapped. “This is much worse proposal than the one submitted by the Labour Ministry for review. He only announced it to us verbally,” added Miklosko.