The Lithuanian government has integrated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into key strategic planning documents, such as the National Strategy for Sustainable Development and the National Progress Strategy ‘Lithuania 2030’. The official priorities stemming from the 2030 Agenda are SDGs 1, 5, 13, and 16. However, trade unions’ partners alert that implementation remains a challenge, in particular, due to changes in political leadership, as continuity and commitment to the implementation of the objectives set by previous governments are lacking.
Trade unions report that there is a need for a better-structured process for informing and consulting social partners on the 2030 Agenda. While an e-consultation was launched on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, trade unions were not invited to negotiate concrete aspects. Nonetheless, even if not in the context of discussing the SDGs, trade unions continue providing input to discussions promoting the increase of wages (especially in the public sector), pensions, and broader and more adequate social protection, promoting equality and better access to the labour market.
The Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation calls on the government of Lithuania to ensure urgent action to cope with the pandemic emergency in line with the SDGs, such as:
- Enhancing the financing of essential public services to respond adequately to the crisis and to be prepared for future crises. In this framework, trade unions stress the need for a real progressive tax system that ensures a fair distribution of the financial burden between labour and capital.
- Saving jobs by supporting companies that are committed to workers’ rights and sustainability. Considering that in the current health crisis employers’ organisations have unilaterally tried to push for changes of the Labour Code to hinder workers’ rights, rather than looking for balanced solutions by collective bargaining, public support to business should only come with the commitment to protect workers’ rights and the environment.
- Ensuring proper involvement of social partners in the design of solutions to the Covid-19 crisis and to the 2030 Agenda. One urgent discussion refers to the current economic structure, which is heavily based on low value-added sectors with low wages and a higher representation of migrant workers, generating a race to the bottom of working conditions for the overall working class. Given this situation, the Covid-19 recovery plan of the government needs to include the creation of stable quality jobs in sustainable high value-added sectors, as well as the investment to up-skilling and re-qualification of workers from vulnerable sectors.
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“Shadow” report on the SDGs by LPSK: LITHUANIA_LPSK_SDG Country Report_final template