"After the president has rejected the legislation passed by the Seimas, we may have to give up these advantages and thus stay with the Soviet relict, the old Labor Code," he said.
"Obviously, the head of state turned a deaf ear to the arguments of scientists, progressive businesses, international institutions, Lithuanian youth organizations, employers and political forces from across the spectrum," he said.
Butkevicius said the president's decision was determined by criticism publicly voiced by trade unions and "several tens of protesters".
The prime minister said that he could not say yet if efforts would be taken to overturn the president's veto at the parliament.
Grybauskaite on Monday vetoed the new Labour Code, aimed at liberalising labour relations, saying that the legislation fails to ensure the rights of employees and reinforces "employers' domination".
She proposed a total of 22 amendments to the legislation. It was adopted by parliament in late June but needs to be signed into law by the president.
Parliamentarians from the ruling coalition said on Monday that they are ready to convene an extraordinary session on the Labour Code next week.
Butkevicius said that the secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which Lithuania expects to join, has identified productivity as a key challenge for the country and welcomed the government's efforts to adopt a more flexible Labor Code.
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