Trade Unions Want Higher Pay for Night Work
107 ECONOMY - TRADE UNIONS - NIGHT WORK PAY - CAMPAIGN
Trade Unions Want Higher
Pay for Night Work, Limiting of
Accumulated Calculation of Working Time
Sofia, October 8 (BTA) - The industrial federations of the Podkrepa Confederation of Labour and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) are launching a national campaign entitled "Let's Defend Our Work Together!". The campaign was presented by Podkrepa President Dimiter Manolov and CITUB President Plamen Dimitrov at a joint news conference here on Tuesday.
The campaign's start launches a national petition for a significant increase of the pay for night time work, which trade unions want to see turned into a function of the minimum wage for the country, so that the additional remuneration for night time work would have an objective unit of measurement which will grow over the years. The current value of the additional remuneration for night time work of 0.25 leva per hour was introduced back in 2007.
Podkrepa and CITUB also insist that the accumulated calculation of the working time should be applied only to production facilities with a constant technological regime of work, and should be limited by the employer's decision to a maximum of four months, rather than the current six months. This demand has been set in the International Labour Organization convention on working time that Bulgaria has ratified and, according to the trade unions, the non-observation of the convention has led to a working week of 56 hours instead of up to 48 hours.
The petition launched by the trade unions is also for guaranteeing the actual reporting and payment of overtime work with an accumulated calculation of the working time, and for increasing this pay by 75 per cent on weekends and by 100 per cent on official holidays.
The trade unions hope to gather around 100,000 signatures by Christmas.
Manolov cited data of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions showing that Bulgaria is fifth in the EU for the employees' working hours.
Dimitrov said that over 50 per cent of the violations established in all sectors and sanctioned by the General Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency, are directly or indirectly linked to violations of the working hours. Most often, the reasons lie in vicious practices in the application of the accumulated calculation of working time, shifts and unjust payment of overtime work.
According to Podkrepa, a large number of studies into the impact of night time work show it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and of lung and bladder cancer by 40 per cent, of breast cancer by 30 per cent, and of prostate cancer three-fold. Night time workers also face a greater risk of depression, diabetes, and metabolic problems.
The trade unions hope that their campaign will be supported with legislative actions by the Government. If left unheard, Podkrepa and CITUB are ready to stage ralliers and even protests, Manolov and Dimitrov said.