Lithuanian PM admits that new Labour Code may not come to pass

Algirdas Butkevičius
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Some of the ruling politicians have said that the new code would be adopted by the next parliament, others suggested overruling the veto, while the prime minister has suggested taking into consideration the president’s proposals in part and making more concessions for trade unions who have criticized the law for failing to ensure workers’ rights.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said on Thursday that the ruling parties had not yet made a firm decision on the future of the new code, admitting for the first time that the old code might stay on.

“We understand well that the new Seimas elections are coming up. If the veto is upheld, we would have to amend about 37 laws of the social model, which were not vetoed. We would not be able to do this during this term. (…)

“We thought the presidential veto would not have an impact on other laws that have been adopted, but it turns out that they are closely interrelated,” Butkevičius told journalists after the meeting of the Political Council of ruling parties on Thursday.

Butkevičius said that the political groups of the Social Democrats, the Order and Justice party and the Labour Party would be updated on the situation after assembling for the parliamentary session in September before deciding on how they should vote on the Labour Code.

Meanwhile, the Order and Justice party’s leader Rolandas Paksas has proposed overruling the veto, and the Labour Party’s leader MEP Valentinas Mazuronis stated that the party would vote for the old version of the law.

Artūras Černiauskas, the leader of the Lithuanian Confederation of Trade Unions, told BNS that he supported the idea of keeping the existing Labour Code and leaving the new for the parliament to be elected in October. Nevertheless, he suggested supplementing the current version with provisions on a new fund for severance pay for employees.

In early July, President Dalia Grybauskaitė vetoed the Labour Code that liberalizes labour relations, saying it was an insufficient safeguard of employee rights and allowed domination of employers.

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