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Business and Economy
10.01.2013 15:17
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SKEI Union Insists on Pay Rise, Threatens Strike

Ljubljana, 10 January (STA) - The SKEI trade union of electronics and steel sectors revived on Thursday its strike threats put on hold last December despite failed negotiations. The union said it insisted on a pay increase as the wages of all 86,000 workers in the sectors were below average.

SKEI has stepped up its demands although employers were not ready to even discuss last year what the union says were unrealistically modest demands, and is now demanding a 6.5% pay raise in the electronics sector, a 7.5% raise in the steel sector and a 9% raise in the foundry industry.

The union's president Lidija Jerkič told the press that wages must allow workers to live above the poverty threshold, which is why no wage in the sectors, starting with January 1 this year, must be below EUR 624 net, which is the newly defined threshold.

While the basic minimum gross wage in Slovenia was raised to EUR 783 in January, the lowest basis gross wage in the electronics and steel sectors is as low as EUR 485 gross.

"People demand that they are paid for their work fairly," Jerkič said, explaining that additional demands include a one-off payment amounting to 20% of the wage, as well as demands related to holiday allowance.

SKEI is planning a protest rally in front of the Chamber and Commerce and Industry (GZS) for 16 January, which is expected to be attended by between 500 and 700 people.

If there is no response, a first strike will be held on 23 January when workers will stay at home and give up on their wage for the day.

"Our goal is not the strike but a response," Jerkič said, explaining the members of the union will discuss between 16 and 23 January plans to call a general strike lasting until the strike demands are met.

10.01.2013 15:17

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