Tomas Tomilinas
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The government transferred a revised new Labour Code to the Parliametn for consideration. However, the ruling said they won’t vote for it, if employers will not commit in writing to increase salaries.

On Thursday Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS) Members of the Parliament held a press conference with a name "Labour Code consideration in the Parliament - only after the tripartite agreement on the increase of salaries."

DELFI asked whether they would vote against the new Labour Code, if a written agreement is not reached on the salaries, LVŽS group member Tomas Tomilinas said: "Yes. My answer is - yes. But I am confident that the agreement will be signed. We have placed a lot of effort into the preparation of the framework, the consultation and I see only the goodwill from the business side.

I really do not think that we have to demand in practice to answer the question today of exactly how much in percentages they will increase salaries in a month. This is unreal. "

According to the politician, the agreement on pay could depend on a specific business area:
"I want to say that we want to empower citizens to actually negotiate their area or their sphere and sector salaries. No one before that Lithuania did this, the government had no interest. Salaries were not in the spotlight. And if no any good will be shown, I will vote against, very clearly. "

LVŽS representative of the Economic Committee of the Parliament Virginijus Sinkevičius said that the Tripartite Council re-examined and forwarded to the Government of Lithuania Labour Code to create new jobs.

The politician did not answer directly how much employers should commit to increasing salaries, but said he thought that if an agreement is not reached, his group would vote against the adoption of the Labour Code: "I think both business and workers, just as we are interested to comply with the agreement from the beginning of what was agreed. The talks that perhaps the Labor Code is being pushed with a bulldozer, it seems strange to me, when half of the year was devoted in addition. All were invited to the table to express their positions and opinion. Yes, this is a negotiation, but nevertheless we tried maximally take into account all the proposals.

But, well, if we start with some damage, it is not possible to vote for and I think it would the same in the group.

The prime minister rushed to deny

In the ranks of the ruling Lithuanian farmer-green union (LVŽS) you can hear statements that the new Labour Code (DK) will not be able to enter into force on the 1st of July. The prior employers have not committed themselves to increase salaries, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that the Tripartite Council agreed that DK will enter into force as planned.

"I can clearly say that LVŽS position, which today has been discussed with the coalition partners is: to enter into force of the new Labour Code on the 1st of July, as agreed with the amendments to the Tripartite Council", - said S. Skvernelis on Thursday after a meeting with the Confederation of Lithuanian Industrialists (LPK) representatives.

LPK President Robertas Dargis says, now the state should pay particular attention to the quality of education.

"Today should not talk about a national agreement on salary increases, which thus grows naturally, we should talk about an agreement on education.

To rearrange schools and universities, so that people understand that they have to invest in themselves, if you want to withstand the changes in the world. We have many people who cannot take offered jobs because of the need to know languages or have digital skills ", - said R. Dargis.
According to the President of the Confederation of Lithuanian Industrialists, if DK entry into force is delayed, it could become a test of the Government.

"It would be the first serious test for the Government and Parliamentary relations and coalition relations probably because the Prime Minister has confirmed that his commitment is to accept employment law on the 1st of July.

Our working relationship is still among the world’s top hundreds of the second level. Other countries agreed to resolve these issues quickly, "- said R. Dargis.

S. Skvernelis added in the comment sent to DELFI that in the Tripartite Council held negotiations on the Labor Code, the consensus showed that the dialogue with the business community is a constant, and the search of a compromise is not theoretical, but practical.

"Government‘s work and efforts to improve the business climate, attract investment and create all the conditions for economic growth in itself implies the possibility to raise workers' wages.
Our social partners themselves have repeatedly publicly declared their readiness to increase wages. This case requires the written promise, or the given word of a business is more important and stronger than any written agreement is a question that can best answer by them only, "- said the Prime Minister.

He also said that LVŽS and Social Democratic Party coalition on Thursday morning in the council discussed the matter and decided to stick repeatedly to the declared position that has been negotiated in the Tripartite Council, it must be adopted without changes in the Parliament.
"Yes, and it will be put to the vote in order to promote a real dialogue between the Government, trade unions and employers", - said S. Skvernelis.

Wages should rise naturally or because of the agreement?

On the agreement on pay increases the ruling began to talk again at the end of November of last year.

Then the Farmers and Greens' Union, Parliamentary Social Affairs and Labour Committee Vice-Chairman Tomas Tomilinas said that the agreement on the Labour Code and the commitment to raise wages is not some sort of exchange: "Similar agreements idea has been publicly declared, in the program already at the beginning of the election and there is nothing new. It is a natural thing that occurs to many people and trade unions, and business environment. We are taking the initiative to promote the idea. If you do not want to agree, then it will not happen. Trade unions and employers have to agree with each other, and we will be active participants.

Late last year, different institutions have predicted a rise in salaries:

The politician at the time hoped that thanks to the tripartite dialogue they will succeed in reaching an agreement on both the Labour Code and on salaries.

"I think the principle is quite straightforward: if employers are committed to something, something and commit to someone the employees too can accept. It is normal. Here, negotiations are talking about the principle, "- he said.

T. Tomilinas then said that there is no consensus on of a specific size, which would increase wages.
They say that in the local, small businesses 5 percent is a lot. Perhaps the big investors, as you say, could increase by 7-9 percent or even 15 per cent:
"There is a work of discussions, negotiations and long-term planning. The future work of Social Security and Labour Ministry of Labour. I will not be able to tell the percentages for sure, and they stay up to the agreement.

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