Labor Day in Montenegro is celebrated with minimum wage of €193, the lowest in the region, and average salary of €510. The Government is ready to negotiate on increasing the minimum wage. However, €250 suggested by trade unions – that’s not going to happen. For now.
Representatives of the Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro and the Association of Trade Unions, Srđa Keković and Duško Zarubica, yesterday weren’t able to answer what the situation of the employees in Montenegro looks like.
This time traditional 1st May protest march is not taking place. Representatives of the Union said that the Police Department in Podgorica had informed them that march was going to be cancelled.
However, representatives of the Police Department have denied it. They have explained that marching through Karađorđeva Street, next to the Government, will not be allowed, since that’s what the Law stipulates. Passing through pedestrian zone will be allowed.
“Organizers have informed as shortly afterwards that they had given up on the march and that public gathering would start at the Argentino square”, said the representatives of the Police Department.
What’s going on with the minimum wage?
Government’s motion of increasing minimum wage from €193 to €222 wasn’t seconded by trade unions.
Trade unions are willing to reach compromise if some concessions to the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance are made and if the Government agrees to abandon increase in electricity price. That didn’t happen.
Any decision adopted in the Social Council must be endorsed by all three social partners.
Situation improved, but not satisfactory
President of the Young Liberals of Montenegro, Amar Borančić, says that the position of the employees in Montenegro has improved but it is definitely not at satisfactory level.
“This issue requires joint efforts of the state from one side, and the economy, market, education institutions and every individual citizen from the other. Not everything is only the responsibility of the state. It’s important to create the environment for positive business development. In that context, it is necessary to cut para-fiscal and tax impositions on wages”, says Mr Borančić.
He adds that Montenegro has market that is mostly fulfilled with the workforce from the region.
The Government has recently adopted amendments to the Law on Internal Trade that forbid wholesale and retail trade on Sundays and holidays.
Facilities that provide services necessary for the entire functioning of the society have been exempt. This is great news for around 37.000 of employees in trade sector.
Why is 1st May celebrated?
In remembrance of the day when workers in Chicago started fighting for eight working hours. It’s celebrated across the world