Premier Sanader meets with union reps

Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and his deputies Jadranka Kosor and Damir Polancec held talks on Monday with representatives of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Croatia (SSSH), led by its president, Ana Knezevic, about outstanding issues in social dialogue, the government said in a statement.

The unionists informed the government representatives of preparations for an April 12 protest by which they will point out the necessity of meeting their demands for better conditions for workers.

The unionists stressed that the protest would be strictly social in character, without the participation of any political option.

The two sides agreed that, in accordance with conclusions adopted at a social partnership conference in Vukovar, they would immediately start drafting a social partnership agreement for a new development cycle, with the participation of representatives from other interested union federations.

Unless employers and unions agree on a minimum wage bill by March 15, as was requested in Vukovar, the government will introduce such a bill by May 1 at the latest. It was also agreed that unions would submit to the government by the end of April a union representation bill that the government would submit to parliament.

The unionists highlighted their interest in becoming more engaged in task forces working on the adjustment of social-policy and employment legislation to European Union regulations.

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