THE three main unions for shop workers yesterday threatened a strike during August if the collective bargaining agreement being negotiated at the moment does not include a clause to ensure that their workers can balance their home and working lives. A spokesperson for the unions, speaking yesterday after taking part in a meeting between the unions and the companies, said that the “stubborn” attitude of the bosses to this clause could “prejudice” the rest of the negotiations. According to the spokesperson the bosses “don't think that it is necessary to have a balance between work and family life, with all the things that go with it such as rest time, leave, reduction of the working day, two days free a week and more money, because the wages paid to shop workers are extremely low and very close to the minimum wage”. The spokesperson for the unions added that the three unions negotiating the agreement are demanding a working year of 1'776 hours (a working week of around 35 hours) which the bosses have so far not accepted.

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