Prime Minister Iveta Radicova has criticised the trade union KOVO for announcing additional protests without any attempt to have discussions beforehand.
On Friday, Radicova responded to the announced protest actions by saying that although the heads of KOVO trade union have the right to declare a strike alert, it would be much better if they tried to deal with issues at the negotiating table first.
Radicova expressed her readiness to have further talks, but the KOVO trade union is intent on initiating a strike alert on 2 December. She is calling for union representatives to act responsibly and to bring sincere proposals to the table, while criticising proposals like cutting the working week to just four days, which would have an impact on employees’ salaries.
The trade unions are not happy with the set of austerity measures proposed by the government, but Radicova feels that it is these very measures that will bolster employment and provide greater social assurance. She added that every EU member should be consolidating their public finances as the situation is now critical.
Tripartite talks between employers, employees and the government have been on rocky ground since the new government took up office in June, as the government tries to stabilise the deficit it inherited, while trade unions don’t want to make the requested compromises.