Workers in Croatia Still Earning Less than Before Crisis

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 19, 2018 – Croatia is the only new European Union member state in which salaries today are lower than they were in 2010 and workers are earning less than before the crisis, the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (SSSH) said on Monday, adding that only higher wages can stop the wave of emigration.

Citing a new report by the European Trade Union Institute – “Benchmarking Working Europe 2018.”, SSSH notes that the real value of salaries in the period 2010 – 2017 in Croatia fell by 7.9% when considering the cost of living.

In the period from 2016 to 2017, Croatian salaries increased by 1.2% which is insufficient to compensate for the fall during the crisis. “That is far below the growth in the years before the crisis when salaries increased by 15.8% in the period from 2000 to 2009,” SSSH underscored in a press release.

Only Greece, Cyprus and Portugal fare worse than Croatia while new EU member states have recorded growth in double-digit figures – Czech Republic (11%), Poland (15.3%), Romania (30%) and Bulgaria (54.5%).

How many more of these reports do we need to see before the government and employers finally realise that only higher wages and better jobs can stop the disastrous extent of emigration from Croatia, SSSH questioned and underscored that 80% of those emigrating are doing so because of their low earnings and 30% also due to poor quality jobs.

“If we continue to be the lowest paid workers in the EU, then we have no chance. Without wages growing, the consumption can’t grow and without that economic growth won’t continue,” SSSH president Mladen Novosel said.

He called on the government to do everything in its power to stop and change the negative trend, primarily by significantly increasing and redefining the minimum wage and by stimulating and strengthening collective negotiations at the branch level.


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