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Generational change seen as opportunity for new chapter in labour relations

Ljubljana, 5 December - Social dialogue appeared to grind to a halt in 2017, but towards the end of the year changes at the helm of the two organisations that have shaped labour relations since Slovenia's independence triggered hope that bargaining could be put on a new footing.

Dušan Semolič (left) retired as the head of the ZSSS trade union association while Samo Hribar Milič stepped down as the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) in the biggest generational change at the helm of leading social partners in over two decades.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

In September, Sonja Šmuc, 46, took over as the director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), succeeding the long-standing boss, Samo Hribar Milič, after a 12-year stint as the head of the Managers' Association. In October, seasoned trade unionist Lidija Jerkič, 55, succeeded Dušan Semolič, who retired after heading the ZSSS, the country's biggest trade union association, for almost 26 years.

Šmuc said she would try to convince all stakeholders to pursue the goal of raising everyone's quality of life, while Jerkič indicated she would move from fighting for jobs to fighting for better jobs. Social dialogue will also be streamlined after the ZSSS announced it would merge with SKEI, the union association that had been headed by Jerkič before she took the top job at the ZSSS.

© STA, 2017