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Bulgarian workers in STS Medical Group signs first collective agreement

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15 December, 2022On 28 November, after many rounds of negotiations, multinational STS Medical Group and IndustriALL affiliate the Federation of Light Industry, signed their first collective agreement. The signing took place four days after a protest rally where hundreds of workers demanded adequate pay for their work.

The protest action came after several failed attempts of peaceful negotiations where workers demanded a wage increase, the first in several years. Inflation is increasing and workers are losing buying power, putting them on the edge of their survival. The union had tried to reach a collective agreement for 1,5 years, but after the protest actions and work stoppages, an additional round of wage negotiations was held. 
This first collective agreement means that the minimum wage for the company will increase to BGN1,000 (US$539). Workers will receive an increase in food vouchers from BGN80 to BGN200 (US$43), as well as a Christmas supplement of BGN60 (US$32). The agreement also stipulates the participation of the trade union in internal wage negotiations and working conditions. 
Kemal Özkan IndustriALL assistant general secretary says:

“IndustriALL Global Union congratulates our affiliate with this exemplary win. This successful campaign has clearly shown that organizing new members and reaching good collective bargaining agreements are the main priorities for the union movement in securing workers’ interests. We need more of these powerful success stories.”