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Polish labor unions seek 7pct hike of minimum wage
   
Three leading Polish labor unions have submitted their joint proposal for a 7% increase in the minimum wage from 2015, above the modest 3% raise proposed by the government, a union leader told PAP Polish news agency.

The increase, postulated by NSZZ Solidarity, OPZZ and FZZ and put to the Labor Minister Tuesday, would push the minimum monthly wage from PLN 1,680 to PLN 1,797.

The Polish government would like to raise the minimum wage by PLN 51 only, to PLN 1,731.

The Minimum wage had risen by PLN 100 in 2013 and PLN 80 in 2014. The government justifies is lower proposal with reference to below-expectation inflation.

Unions cite higher than expected GDP growth and a longer-term plan of putting the minimum wage to 50% of the national average wage.

“With GDP growth growing in 2014 at a rate above expectation, the minimum wage should rise to 50% of the national average wage”, Henryk Nakonieczny of NSZZ Solidarity said.

Unionists further call for an at least 9% increase in budget sector wages and no less than a 5.6% increase in overall wages, Niekonieczny said. Pensions should rise by the rate of 2014 inflation increased by half of the rate of real wage growth.

Minimum wage and a national wage target are conventionally subject to non-binding negotiations within the tri-partite commission of employers-labor-government. Unions have held off from such talks over the past year.