The SSM union, Macedonia’s largest such association, warned that the latest, fifth round of stimulus is doomed to fail just like the previous four rounds of support given to help fight the effects of the coronavirus crisis. According to SSM, the measures need to be aimed toward the workers ad their companies.

All steps should have the goal of keeping jobs and protecting us from unemployment. People who are sick and who care for their sick families, or are not able to work, should not suffer financially from the crisis. The Government needs to provide financial aid to the companies who can’t continue to work due to the virus, or whose work is reduced. The aid should mainly go toward providing employee salaries. We call for salary subsidies in the areas where work has declined, which is provided in the package, but the funds should go directly to the accounts of the workers, the union said.

There are reports of employers nominally paying their workers through their bank accounts, which is a requirement to receive aid from the stimulus package, but then demanding that the workers empty their accounts and return the money to the company in cash.
The union also demands that companies are forced to re-hire the workers they already fired, or face being banned from receiving stimulus funds.