As promised, this is another Sunday Special by pengovsky.
Ljubljana saw the largest gathering of people since the end of World War II. 70.000 (yes, seventy thousand) workers demanded a rise in basic wages. The constant tug-of-war between the unions and the employers was fueled by rising inflation (shown in 10 – 20 percent raise in prices of basic food comodities such as bread, dairy product, etc…) which hit those with small incomes hardest. Employers of course will hear nothing of it and the end result was that negotiations broke down and unions took to the streets.
Unions don’t demand a staggering raise in wages – a mere 3.5 percent, just enough to offset the inflation. And – as odd as it may seem, the minister for labour Marjeta Cotman supports their cause. As does presiden-elect Danilo Türk, as you can see on the video.
Iif unions’ demands are not met, they will call a general strike. Which will make the 70.000-strong crowd seem like a picnic. So employers should think twice about not heeding to unions’ demands. I can understand that it may seem like blackmail, but if Slovene economy is really doing better, than a pay raise should be no trouble at all. The unions know that the days of free lunches are over. That’s why they called the demonstration on a Saturday. The employers have been given a fair warning.
And since things can be lost in translation, let me just explain the last part of the video. I used a song by Jani Kovačič, Delam (Working) – which is about people not being able to find work and still having to feed their families, while the only “work” they get is standing in a line at the local unemployment office. It became the unofficial anthem of Slovene working call (and others who are simply overworked).