Lithuania’s labour unions to hold rally in Vilnius in protest of labour code reform

DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

At the same time, rallies will be held outside Lithuania’s embassies in Latvia and Estonia. Representatives of foreign countries will be taking part as well.

The organisers of the rally said at a press conference that people from all over Lithuania will be taking part in it as well.

According to Chairman of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK), Artūras Černiauskas, organizers secured a permit for a rally of 2,000. However, he did not reject the possibility that more people might turn up.

Černiauskas said he hoped that unrest would be avoided, but stressed that some other groups would be protesting at the same time as well, led by fringe politicians like former MP Vytautas Šustauskas and the Socialist People’s Front (SLF) leader Algirdas Paleckis.

According to Černiauskas, the two were allowed to hold rallies at the same time as the trade unions in order to discourage people from attending the latter.

According to the leader of trade unions, the rally will be held not only in Lithuania but outside the Embassies of Lithuania in Estonia and Latvia as well. The permit for a rally outside the Lithuanian Embassy in Poland is still being coordinated due to complex procedures. The protest in Lithuania will be attended by Latvians, Germans and Norwegians, and General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Bernadette Segol, who will be received by Parliament Speaker Loreta Graužinienė on the day of the rally. Černiauskas said that other countries decided to show support once they heard how liberal the new proposed Lithuanian Labour Code was – they fear that a long working week may be introduced elsewhere in Europe.

The rally outside the Lithuanian parliament will begin on Thursday at noon. People will protest against 3-day dismissal notice, reduction of wages and severance payment as well as notice periods, introduction of 60-hour working week, introduction of fixed-term employment contracts for permanent work, raising retirement age, etc.

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