ZAGREB, July 24, 2019 – The newly appointed Minister of Labour and Pension System, Josip Aladrović, on Wednesday announced that he would officially invite unions to sit down together and continue social dialogue regarding common topics, including the “67 is too much” referendum related to the pension reform.
At the moment that invitation is very inclusive and refers to everyone, and it will be officially made very soon, once we determine what topics we wish to discuss with them, Aladrović told reporters ahead of an inner cabinet meeting.
I am certain that unions and employers will respond and we certainly have something to talk about, he said.
In reference to reporters’ comments that the unions are not that eager regarding negotiations and whether he had anything to offer that would appease them, Aladrović said that that was a matter of social dialogue.
“I believe that that is all a matter of dialogue and that when we sit down at the table, we will see what we can talk about, what needs to be agreed, what the common topics are and what social partners want to discuss,” he underscored.
Asked whether he would appeal to unions to give up the referendum, Aladrović said that all topics related to social dialogue referring to labour and the pension system “are desirable topics to be put on the table with social partners.”
He did not agree with reporters that his hands were tied thanks to what his predecessor Marko Pavić had done.
“Signatures were collected and they are going to the Public Administration Ministry and those who will decide whether the referendum will be held, how many signatures are required and how many were collected. I think that our hands are not tied and that we are open to social dialogue. The unions are rejecting dialogue but I will use one more opportunity to invite them and I think that with communication and dialogue we can resolve problems,” Aladrović said.
He did not wish to prejudge what would happen if the unions do not agree to a dialogue.
He did not agree with the president of the Independent Croatian Trade Unions, Krešimir Sever, that he will not have the political weight to oblige other ministers to participate in the work of the Economic-Social Council (GSV).
“I have already talked with the ministers. We are very inclined toward the GSV and I am certain that I will have the weight to invite other ministers and that they will respond,” he said.
He assessed that the measure to employ pensioners has shown exceptionally good results and added that since 1 January more than 13,000 pensioners have been employed, mostly in retail, manufacturing as well as in some professional, scientific and education categories.
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