Prime Minister promises a lot as the election campaign starts

28-08-2007, 09:41

Prime Minister agrees to raise minimal wage, wages in the budget sector and expand earlier retirement. No wonder: elections are coming.

The government broke the rules of social dialogue again – this is how Andrzej Malinowski, the president of the Confederation of Polish Employers’ KPP commented the agreement signed yesterday between the government and NSZZ “Solidarnosc” trade union. PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski assures that the agreement was a result of hard negotiations.

In June, “Solidarnosc” demanded to increase the minimal wage to 42 percent of the average wage in 2008 and to set the way of reaching 60 percent of the average wage plus to increase wages in budget sector by 10 percent. The trade union postulated also earlier retirement. After “hard negotiations”, the government agreed to set the minimal wage at 40 percent of the average (and steadily increase it to 50 percent in 2010), increase wages in budget sector by 9.3 percent plus prolong the law on earlier retirements till the end of 2008.

“When we wanted to negotiate the increases in budget sector, the government did not want to hear about them. With elections on the horizon, it turns out they can talk. And with only one partner in addition. This questions the credibility of this government”, Andrzej Malinowski says.

Jan Guz, the head of OPZZ, another trade union, is not happy either. “The direction may be favorable for trade unions but it’s sad that the case is so political and has become element of election campaign. For two years, the government did not feel like solving problems and now it changed its mind suddenly”, Jan Guz said.

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