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Cyprus

Deok ups pressure on government over minimum wage

ΠτΔ – Σύσκεψη για κατώτατο μισθό κ
The meeting at the presidential palace on Tuesday

Deok trade union confederation has joined Peo and Sek in accusing the government of backing down after the broad meeting that took place at the presidential palace on Tuesday failed to approve the introduction of a national minimum wage.

In an announcement on Thursday, Deok also disputed the methodology brought forward by the employers’ organisations and accused the government of overturning the framework established by the late labour minister Zeta Emilianidou.

“We express our deep disappointment and concern regarding the positions expressed both by the employers’ organisations and by the president of the republic. Positions that completely overturn the basic principles and agreed framework as defined through the social dialogue with the late labour minister Zeta Emilianidou,” Deok said in its announcement.

Consultations on the introduction of a minimum wage were based on the labour ministry’s joint study with the International Labour Organisation and the European Commission and its findings are based on objective evidence that cannot be disputed, the union added.

“The labour minister [Emilianidou] was very clear regarding the formula shaping the minimum wage and regarding its application,” it said.

The method adopted was that of EU-SILC that provides more reliable data compared to the data of the Cyprus statistical service which includes employees whose earnings correspond to fewer working hours, low-wage agricultural workers and employees with lower earnings due to them receiving the Covid-19 allowance, it said.

Adopting this distorted formula is wrong and unfair as it yields a median salary of €1573, compared to €1727 by the EU-SILC.

Deok also argued that employers’ organisations want to exempt more professional groups from the minimum wage than originally planned and to exclude labour market newcomers by recommending a lower hiring salary.

Deok further warned that it will not stand by in apathy.

“We warn that we are not going to passively accept approaches and regulations that degrade and undermine this fundamental right of workers,” the announcement concluded.

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