Labour Research June 2012

European news

Deal over austerity plan is agreed in Slovenia

In return for concessions on public spending, Slovenian unions have agreed not to block the government’s planned austerity measures.

The deal, which follows a widely supported strike in April (see Labour Research, May 2012, page 8), was reached after the government agreed to limit public sector pay cuts to 8%, rather than the 10% which it had initially proposed.

In some ways the most potent weapon in the unions’ hands was a referendum, which requires 40,000 signatures to go ahead and which, if passed, means that the rejected measure is blocked for at least a year. Four laws, including pension changes, were blocked in this way in 2011.

The unions, which have successfully organised referendums in the past, agreed that they would not call for one on the government’s public spending plans.