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Employers, unions, gov’t closer to reaching wage rise agreement

Employers, unions and the government came closer to an agreement on wage rises in 2007 at a Friday meeting of the National Interest Coordination Council, which represents the interests of businesses and unions, Econews reported.

Employers said they would accept a 4%-7% wage rise, after refusing earlier to accept a 3.5%-6% rise. Unions lowered their proposal to 8%-11% from the earlier proposed 15%, and the government widened its proposal to 5.5%-9%, compared to 6%-6.5% earlier.
Employers complain that they must shoulder bigger profit tax and payroll tax burdens in 2007. Unions argue workers should be compensated for higher payroll taxes, which will reduce net wages 3.5%. The government, which originally aimed to see wages rises only as much as inflation, later said it would accept other proposals as long as they did not prevent targets in the government's Convergence Program from being met.