Head of employers' federation handed government award

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The head of the lobbying organization representing large employers in Latvia was among those handed awards and a cash prize of more than 7,000 euros by the government November 16 in the annual "Cabinet of Ministers Awards".

Vitalijs Gavrilovs, the serving chairman of the Latvian Employers' Confederation was given the award at a lavish ceremony in Jūrmala for his "important work promoting social dialogue" according to the official Twitter account of the cabinet office, though pictures of the evening's event (above) suggest Gavrilovs did not collect his award in person.

A key part of that social dialogue is presenting the views and demands of employers to government ministers at regular meetings. Those same ministers were the ones who decided on handing Gavrilovs a certificate and, according to the published rules of the award, a cash prize of 7,115 euros and a lapel badge.

The awarding committee that selected this year's winners consisted of Dace Melbārde (
Culture minister), Kārlis Šadurskis (Education minister), Uldis Augulis (Transport minister), Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Finance minister), Aigars Freimanis (an advisor to Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis), Jānis Citskovskis (head of the cabinet office) and Jānis Stradiņš (head of the Latvian Academy of Sciences).

The video below (in Latvian) shows the care that goes into drawing up the certificates that are handed out and a statement that the award is also important because it has a "moral and ethical aspect".

The Cabinet of Ministers award has historically been the government's (as opposed to the President's) highest award for significant work or merit in the development of the Latvian state. The prize has been received by Latvian writers, artists and public figures, including writers, sculptors, painters, folklorists and prominent medical professionals.

The other recipients of the award this year were the director of the Rural Support Service Anna Vītola-Helviga, painter Maija Norai-Tabaka, choral conductor Jānis Erenštreits, surgeon Normunds Pavlovs, and biologist Dr. Arvīds Barševskim of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.

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