A step closer to the directive on adequate minimum wages

Last week Lithuania formulated its preliminary position on the proposed European directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union.

The Committee on European Affairs of the Parliament decided that the principle of subsidiarity is not violated. That means that the „yellow card“ for further processes was not given and now the proposal will be discussed in the plenary session of the Parliament.

If the directive was adopted, all member states would have to introduce the same criteria for determining monthly minimum wages. In other words, minimum wages would not be the same but based on the same indicators (which may differ in each member state).

„This comes as a pleasant development after hard discussions in the national Tripartite Council. The Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation defended this directive even if representatives of employers and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour were sceptical. In our opinion, this directive could help to reduce the high percentage of in-work poverty and sharp inequalities in the country. Of course, some amendments are needed: for example, the proposed criterion on productivity could be harmful“, – comments Inga Ruginienė, the President of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation.

She stresses that the proposed European directive on adequate minimum wages in the EU has a huge potential to bring us closer to our long-term goals of social policy: But Europe has to be ambitious and amend some provisions of the proposal. The European trade union movement evaluates that the directive would achieve the greatest positive impact if it included the provision that minimum wages should not be below 60% of the gross median wage and 50% of the gross average wage.”

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