Lithuanian trade unions demand decent wages

The Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK) and the trade union „Solidarumas“ organized a protest against the government’s decision on the minimum monthly wage. The national government, supported by employers, purposely delayed an adequate raise of the minimum monthly salary in Lithuania, stating that it will be discussed after the Parliament elections.

The minimum monthly wage for the coming year has to be agreed in the National Tripartite Council, based on a previously approved formula. Having that in mind, trade unions demanded that the gross minimum monthly wage would reach 663 euros when the government mentions only 642 euros.

Trade unions have witnessed a cynical behavior in the National Tripartite Council and our voice was ignored. Clearly, the government looked for excuses on how to evade its commitments to workers. How we can trust politicians if they break and distort our agreements so easily? We all understand, that after the elections other political parties may come into power and different issues will dominate at top of the political agenda“, – said Inga Ruginienė, the president of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK).

That is why on the World Day for Decent Work (7 October) trade unions organized a protest in Vilnius, Lithuania, in front of the Government’s building. The event sent two main messages: 1) the decision on the minimum monthly wage has to be taken quickly and ensure a decent living for workers (Lithuania still has a high percentage of in-work poverty) and 2) to draw attention to the fact that decent working conditions, in general, are not ensured.

A symbol of our protest was a balloon. It looks big and beautiful until it faces a sharper obstacle and you disappointedly understand how fragile and empty it was. It is so similar to fleeing promises of politicians, don’t you think?”, – joked the leader of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation.

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