Government holding minimum wage increase hostage – CGTP

Page created: Tuesday, 22 April 2014 8:56 GMT

Minimum Wages

The government is holding an increase to the national minimum wage hostage to collective agreement over further liberalisation of workers collective negotiation rights said Arménio Carlos, the CGTP Secretary General, on Monday.
Speaking after a two hour meeting between government and social partners, Carlos said that nobody called into question the principle of raising the minimum wage from its current €480 per month.

“Now, they are playing another game entirely. They are turning the national minimum wage in exchange for new changes to the labour legislation and collective contracts,” said the trade union leader.
Carlos added that the government did not need any agreement from social partners, representatives of business and trade union associations, to raise the minimum salary according to the legislation in effect.

The CGTP leader said the government was playing with the troika evaluation and forthcoming European elections to avoid action and place the rise in a package along with a reduction in overtime pay and revising collective bargaining that the trade unions simply would not accept.
In turn, speaking at a press conference on the 11th evaluation of the Portuguese Economic and Financial Assistance Program, IMF mission head Subir Lall said it was to early to speculate on raising the minimum wages but discussing job creation schemes was on the agenda.
“It is odd that up until very recently, you would ask me if we wanted to lower the minimum wage and are now asking about a rise,” said Lall before emphasising the
IMF interest in discussing job creation strategies before pointing out how it remained “workers with low qualifications and very low wages encountered the greatest difficulty in finding work.”

Lall also refused to be drawn on whether or not Portugal should seek an internationally assisted end to its bailout program but did maintain that excessive profit making remained a reality in the national energy sector.