Efling declares its disappointment with the government action plan announced this morning under the heading “Eight new actions for stability”. The aim is said to be to “support the 2019 collective agreements”, but in fact the plan only supports employers and the wealthy. It is a concession to pressure on their behalf, and disregards working people.

The action plan does not fulfil the actual promise given by the government along with the signing of the 2019 agreements, of introducing penalties for wage theft. This is a simple matter of justice which will not cost the government anything. The draft legislation seen by Efling so far have been useless. It seems the government wants to allow this national disgrace, of larceny without consequence, to continue in the labour market unopposed.

A new and astonishing promise is seen instead, of tax breaks for the wealthy to ease their purchase of company shares. This action directly contravenes the aims of tax regime changes promised last year, which were supposed to correct the great transfer of taxation from the wealthy to the poor in recent decades. Efling is greatly saddened to see the government introduce this measure against fair taxation.

In the action plan we see no adaptations of detailed proposals made by labour of how the government could intervene in the crisis and improve the lot of workers and the general public. These include raising unemployment benefits, something which is not mentioned at all in the latest government plans.

The government has allowed itself to be blackmailed by the employers’ association, SA, who charged ahead with baseless threats of voiding collective agreements. Many companies are doing just fine and don’t want to instigate industrial strife. Instead of maintaining its composure and dignity, and protecting the public interest, the government has disbursed even more money from the public purse into the hands of the wealthy and to companies that don’t face any trouble.

The methods of employers, unto which the government has now given its blessing, do not bode well for the “cooperation” of social partners on the preparatory report “on future arrangements of collective agreements and labour market affairs” which is spoken of in the action plan. It is curious indeed that the government foresees a basis for such cooperation while wage theft, breaking of labour law and threats of voiding agreements happen without consequence.

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