Lithuania - Labor

In 2001, the economically active population was estimated at 1.5 million. As of 1997, services accounted for 50% of the workforce, with industry employing 30% and agriculture the remaining 20%. The unemployment rate was approximately 12.5% that year.

The constitution recognizes the right for workers to form and join trade unions. Approximately 13% of employees are union members. There are four major trade union organizations. The law also provides the right of workers to strike, except those in essential services in the public sector. Collective bargaining is permitted but only utilized on a limited basis.

The legal minimum wage is periodically adjusted by the government for inflation, but these adjustments lag behind the inflation rate. The minimum wage was $107.50 per month as of 2002, but it is not universally enforced. The legal minimum age for employment is 16 years without parental consent, and 14 years with written parental consent. The 40-hour workweek is standard for most workers. The law stipulates occupational health and safety standards, but these are not effectively enforced and many industrial plants are unsafe.

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