Latvian Employers’ Confederation unhappy with 13th Saeima’s arrogant and rushed decision on minimal wages

The decision to increase the minimal wage in Latvia to EUR 620 in 2023 and EUR 700 in 2024 was rushed, ignoring the traditional cycle of consultations with employers and employees, says Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LDDK) secretary general Līga Meņģelsone.
Additionally, during the decision-making process objections from employers about the consequences that may appear as a result of this decision, as well as the additional burden it may cause in a situation of an ongoing energy crisis, were ignored, said LDDK secretary general.
According to Meņģelsone, LDDK has stressed multiple times their conceptual support for plans to increase minimal wages. However, it is important to set balanced criteria to ensure minimal wages increase in a controlled and predictable manner.
It is also important to ensure compliance with the directive from the European Parliament and Council of Europe regarding adequate minimal wage in the European Union.
In this particular case the decision was rushed and did not involve opinions and estimates from social partners, as well as Europe’s established consultation mechanism.
LDDK president Andris Bite said that

dismissal of opinions of social partners in such an important matter indicates arrogance towards the same people otherwise asked to be tolerant towards in matters that may be disadvantageous for employers.

«We provided recommendations and estimates. We have always been cooperation-focused in efforts to create a more competitive business environment, but this is not possible if no one listens to us,» stressed Bite.
LDDK notes that the social dialogue in Latvia has proved its importance in important national decision-making processes in the last 30 years. This is why the National Council for Trilateral Cooperation (NTSP) is an integral mechanism of consultations as part of which it is possible to agree on socioeconomic topics and the topic of minimal wages in the country in a democratic and responsible manner.
In preparation for 14th Saeima elections, LDDK social partners and cooperation organisations met with nearly all political parties that recognise the importance of the social dialogue and consultations.
According to LDDK, the organisation and its partners have prepared recommendations for the new government’s declaration. Proposals include topics important for employers that will help promote development of the national economy and sustainable growth.
More on this topic: Minimal wages to increase in Latvia in 2023