|The unions declared they would not go back to the Tripartite Commission meetings as long as these are headed by the labor minister|
“After four days of protests organized by trade unions in Warsaw there is time for dialogue,” Labor Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz said on Sunday as he invited the unions to return to the Tripartite Commission composed of the government, unions and employers.
Saturday saw the culmination of the four-day workers' protests in Warsaw, which brought together some 100,000 union members on the last day of protests. The crowds contested the government-backed measures that give employers more flexibility in setting working hours, the recent raising of the retirement age to 67 for both sexes and temporary work arrangements, so-called "junk contracts."
The unions demanded an increase in the minimum wage and easier access to social benefits for those in need. They also declared they would not go back to the Tripartite Commission meetings as long as these are headed by Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz.
“I understand that the unions had a job to do during the four days of protests. The union leaders chose the street, the protests. Now we need to sit down and hold constructive talks so I invite [them] to talk within the Tripartite Commission on Friday, September 20,” Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz said.
“Setting aside all this situation, I will continue to encourage [the sides] to engage in a dialogue as it is done in Europe. In Poland we have too little of such dialogue between employers and union members,” he added.
Poland's main trade unions – the Solidarity, All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions and Trade Unions Forum – left a meeting of the Tripartite Commission attended by Prime Minister Donald Tusk on June 26. In July, the unions established an inter-union protest committee.
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