Social dialogue and conflict resolution
Kranj, 31 March - 2 April 2004 Kokra Hotel (Brdo Estate) Kranj, Slovenia
National development project - Latvia
by Daiga Ermsone
Development of the established labour dispute resolution mechanisms
With adoption of the Law on Labour Dispute Settlement in 2002, Latvia completed the reform of labour legislation that corresponds to the demands of the market economy. The Labour Law that came into force on 1 June 2002 establishes the main principles and terms of the labour relations system, including the right of association for employees and employers and the right to collective agreement. The Law on Labour Dispute Settlement provides a speedy, fair and efficient resolution of labour disputes and first introduces such an essential mechanism for labour dispute settlement as mediation.
Taking into account that labour legislation reform has been recently completed, the social partners at Prague workshop agreed that further development of the established labour dispute resolution mechanisms is needed in Latvia:
- the awareness of the society about the new mechanisms for labour dispute settlement shall be increased;
- the promotion of the change of attitudes of social partners toward their labour relations shall be encouraged;
- the training of persons who can provide independent mediation and arbitration services shall be ensured.
Up to now Latvia can be characterised as a country with low level of collective labour disputes. However, it is likely that in the near future with rapid development of the market economy system the number of labour disputes will increase. Therefore social partners agreed that development of the effective labour dispute resolution mechanisms is important precondition for keeping a social peace in the country.
The time frame for implementation of the National Plan is 2004 – 2007. After 3 years the strengths and weaknesses of the established labour relations system and effectiveness of the labour dispute resolution mechanisms will be appraised and necessary amendments will be elaborated and introduced.
The Ministry of Welfare has overall responsibility for securing the effective functioning of labour relations system in the country. However, the social partners at all levels will play the key role in ensuring that the new collective labour relationships are implemented in practice.
This should take place at every level of the economy – from individual employers and workers, to the respective bodies for the representation of their interests, and on to the state itself.
The implementation of the National Development will require:
- the development of human resources, i.e., the training will be required for social partners and for the persons involved in the mediation and arbitration services;
- the financial sources. National sources and EU funds will be the main financial resources.