Students and Trade Unions agains liberalisation of Lithuanian Labour Code

After six months of debates, Lithuania’s Seimas (Parliament) on 21 of June voted on a new and highly liberal Labour Code, which, if signed into law by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, will come into effect in 2017.

After the nearly two years of negotiations with the social partners, after decisions of the Lithuanian Tripartite Council, after the discussions with politicians at the Social Affairs and Labour Committee, Seimas has proven that social dialogue in Lithuania does not exist. Parliament members in one day took decisions on all 260 articles of the new Labour Code, not attempting to listen to the representatives of the employees’ interests.
Trade unions still have hopes that the new employment regulations will be approved by balancing all the interests and rights, they continue actions against liberalisation of Labour Code. At the Seimas on 16 of June trade unions held a protest action "We will live here and will keep voting” against the liberalization of the Labour Code: against zero-hour employment contracts; against reduction of severance pay; limitation of the information – consultation rights, against restriction of workers’ rights during a strike; against extension of mandatory social insurance record, etc.

Late evening on 22 of June, about 50 students blockaded the entrance to the Government building in Vilnius to protest what they feel was the hurried approval of a new liberal Labour Code. They spent the night in the tent city build near the door of the government building and next day held discussions with politicians and officers at the entrance. Trade unions trade unions showed solidarity with the students and joined the action. This action started again on 27 of June, trade unions and students build the tent city in the square near Government building, waiting for the decisions regarding the Labour code.

Trade unions, students and society are waiting that Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė will exercise her right to veto on the new Labour Code adopted in the Parliament.