Bulgaria: Unionists Protest before the National Assembly with a request for Higher Wages
In Sofia, in front of the building of the National Assembly, a CITU (Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria) protest began. Unionists are demanding higher wages.
The participants came and hour before the protest, announced for 9 o'clock, in front of the official entrance of the parliament and waited for the deputies who were coming to work to hand them their demands.
First among these requests is an increase in the minimum wage to BGN 850 and the introduction of a tax-free minimum. At the entrance to the National Assembly, there is also a "union" Christmas tree, on which the demands are hung instead of toys - "Income for all, not for a few", "Enough with the working poor".
The director of the Institute for Social and Trade Union Studies, Luboslav Kostov, said that the trade union is even ready with legislative proposals to make it easier for the deputies to fulfill their demands.
"For more than two months now, we have been insisting on income growth, at the Ministry of Health, we wanted to have a budget for next year, obviously there won't be, after the extension law was passed yesterday. The minimum wage should become BGN 850 - whether with this budget, whether with a new one, it has absolutely no importance for us. The important thing is that people get a salary increase. Today we have specific bills that we will introduce and propose to the deputies before the second reading to introduce in the registry. There are reasons, we have arguments related with the European directive, and with the national characteristics and with the high inflation," said Kostov.
Leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Kornelia Ninova came out to the protesters and announced that there is quite a lot of overlap between the demands of the left and the unions – for example, the introduction of the tax-free minimum, an increase in the minimum wage, an increase in the second year of maternity leave to the amount of the minimum wage. Ninova expressed hope that, at least for some of the demands, the deputies will find solutions in favor of a "working Bulgaria".
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