Unionists Have 290,000 Signatures for Retirement Age Cap Referendum

OZ KOVO chair Emil Machyna (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 25 (TASR) – OZ KOVO trade union chair Emil Machyna stated on Monday that trade unionists have already collected 290,000 signatures for a petition demanding a cap on the retirement age, adding that if Parliament refuses to okay a constitutional law with such an effect at its second reading at the next parliamentary session, the unionists will present the 350,000 signatures required in the next few months in order to trigger a referendum on this matter.

MPs are due to hold a vote on an amendment to the Constitution that would cap the retirement age at 64 this week. The draft submitted by senior governing party Smer-SD was passed to its second reading in the summer of 2018, with 93 out of the 145 MPs present supporting it, including several opposition MPs; for example, from the We Are Family party and the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia.

According to Machyna, trade unionists have done their utmost to see the legislation passed. At the end of January they sent all MPs a letter in which they stressed its importance. “Capping the retirement age isn’t only important from the economic aspect but also the social one,” reads the letter.

Machyna didn’t specify when a referendum could take place. “It’s within the president’s powers. However, it would be good if [the referendum] were joined to another vote,” he added.