According to SSM President Slobodan Trendafilov at a press conference on Tuesday, the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia (SSM) will stage its annual May 1 protest. This year, the group is demanding the restoration of meal and transportation allowances equal to 20% of the average wage as well as an increase in the minimum wage to EUR 450 within the first 100 days of the new government.

“We will call for the reinstatement of transportation and meal allowances, which were taken away from us in 2009 as a result of Macedonia’s gross wage calculation system. In the first 100 days of the new government, we will call for wage increases, particularly raising the minimum wage to at least EUR 450 as it is currently in the area.We do not find ourselves in this predicament where workers from Macedonia, our fellow citizens, are constructing economies abroad and serving foreign interests. Low pay, worries about our own survival, and the issues the seizure of SSM’s headquarters is causing within the union movement are all pressing issues that we must deal with,” Trendafilov stated.

The head of SSM stated that the labor movement is facing a significant obstacle as a result of lawmakers’ recent actions, “who have shown they care for themselves, and not for the workers.”

“Today’s Macedonian workers face challenges to their survival because of rising living expenses and inadequate pay. We’re going to protest because they have stayed the same for the pastunresponsive to our requests, Trendafilov emphasized.

The union boss went on to say that this is unacceptable and called on all employees, unions, and workers’ rights groups to participate in the May Day demonstration.