Lithuanian trade union “Solidarumas”
LPS „Solidarumas“ is the trade union organization uniting the industrial trade union federations and towns/regions territorial trade unions. Its aims and goals are to represent the members, to defend their vocational, economic and social rights and interests, their honor and dignity, to uphold democracy and to strengthen equal partnership, collegial solidarity in mutual interrelations, the efforts to coordinate the interests of the social partners, to defend interests of employees, to influence economic and social policy, protection of the employees’ labour rights as well as professional, wages, labour safety, hygiene, working environment, social and everyday conditions, labour safety, etc.
LPS „Solidarumas“ was established in 1989 as a part of the Sąjūdis, the movement for rebirth of Lithuania, and after implementing its political goal to restore the independence of Lithuania, at the 2nd Congress that was held on 1 July 1990, it was proclaimed to be the trade union. On 26 February 1993 it signed the acknowledgement agreement with the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. As the trade union centre it participates, represents and defends the interests of workers on the tripartite partnership principle. In 1995 it became the member of ICFTU and maintains contacts and cooperates with the trade unions in the neighbouring countries.
LPS „Solidarumas” consists of the LPS „Solidarumas” locals at the enterprises that are united into apskritis (administrative units), towns, regions LPS „Solidarumas“ territorial unifications and federations.
LPS “Solidarumas” structure includes 18 trade union federations and 20 towns/regions territorial trade unions, Women’s council, Youth group. There is the Workers’ support fund with the aim to support the families of workers that live in hardship.
Lithuanian trade union “Solidarumas” provides its members with the following services:
- legal, economic and social consultations;
- represents them at the negotiations with employers on collective agreements;
- represents them in the courts in the cases on wages, return to work and others;
- organizes training, rest, rehabilitation.
How to become the trade union member
The main units of the organization are the LPS “Solidarumas” local trade union organizations at the enterprise or in the establishment. The local trade union organization can be set up by not less than 20 founders or 1/5 employees but not less than 3 employees.
To set up a trade union the meeting of the employees is organized, the protocol of establishing trade union is drawn up and the following persons are elected – a trade union chairperson, deputy, council members, members of the auditing commission and others. A trade union is considered to be established after the meeting has taken place.
The chairperson of the newly established trade union contacts the LPS “Solidarumas” headquarters (phone 262 17 43) to register the trade union.
After the registration of the trade union the chairperson informs the Head of the enterprise about it and invites to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement and to solve the problems of the enterprise.
The employees wanting to join a trade union write the corresponding application. The trade union members are paying 1% membership fees.
The LPS “Solidarumas”
- is the trade union that from the very beginning of its existence actively defends the violated rights of the employees
and has returned to work hundreds of illegally dismissed employees via the court procedures;
- Has organized the first protest actions at the Seimas (Parliament) and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania protesting against constantly growing prices, growing unemployment and growing taxes. Thanks to these actions in 1997 the temporal law on compensations for damage has been adopted, and in 1999 the law according to which from 1 January 2000 all employees are insured from the accidents at work and professional diseases and all compensations for damage are paid by SODra (social insurance fund);
- Actively supported the idea to implement the tripartite social dialogue in Lithuania. In 1995 has signed the first Tripartite agreement in the Republic of Lithuania among the government, trade unions and the employers’ organizations;
- Initiated the idea of free meals for the socially supported children that during recent years has been implemented in many schools in Lithuania;
- Initiated the law on Fund to satisfy the demands related to labour relations of the employees of the bankrupting and bankrupted enterprises. From the Fund the employees can receive compensation in amount of 3 average wages;
- Initiated the alteration of the law on support of the unemployed with the provision foreseeing the possibility to receive the unemployment allowances for those who have less than 2 years left till retirement;
- Organized the actions and negotiations with the officials from Lithuania and EU on the employees of the Ignalina nuclear power plant (IAE) when it was decided to close the IAE in 2003 and the Seimas adopted the law on the additional employment and social guarantees of the employees of the State enterprise Ignalina nuclear plant;
- The LPS “Solidarumas” Motor transport workers’ federation has organized the first strike in the history of independent Lithuania demanding to pay wages for the drivers in time and to preserve the public passenger transport;
- Actively participated in preparation and adoption of the new Labour Code valid from 1 January 2003. We succeeded to oppose the demands of the free market supporters to restrict the rights of the workers and to achieve that the Labour Code limits the maximum working hours to 40 hours per week, the enterprises conclude the collective agreements with trade unions and employment by terminated labour contracts is limited;
- Actively defends the right of disabled persons to work;
- Together with the foreign partners participates in joint international projects, conferences, seminars and actions.
Resolutions of the international seminar "THE ROLE OF SOCIAL PARTNERS IN DEFINING A CONSTRUCTIVE MODEL OF LABOUR RELATIONS FOR DECENT AND SUSTAINABLE QUALITY JOBS"