Labour Code: trade unions feel cheated by PM

PM Iveta Radicova (c) The Daily

The governing coalition has caused more friction with trade unions as it made a last-minute change to the revised Labour Code just hours after Prime Minister Iveta Radicova assured union representatives that no major changes would be made.

The trade unionists had been protesting outside parliament on Wednesday before the government sat down to discuss the Labour Code, a session that saw the government take out the clause on the minimum wage. This was due to employers lobbying with economy minister Juraj Miskov, who eventually pushed through their demand to scrap the minimum wage.

After receiving news of the change, trade union representatives said they felt cheated. When asked about why she had gone back on her word, the PM said that her exact words were that ‘no fundamental changes would be made’ to the draft bill, and that she did not regard scrapping the minimum wage as a fundamental change.

The new Labour Code contains many other changes, affecting the likes of holiday entitlement and notice periods, but the final wording will not be known for a while as it will still be discussed in parliament and subjected to revisions. One thing that looks certain, though, is that the trade unions will continue with their protests, including one today in Kosice as the Ice Hockey World Championships kick off there this afternoon.

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