Trade unions call on economy minister to resign

BELGRADE -- The Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia (SSSS) finds unacceptable the radical amendments to the Labor Law proposed by the economy minister.

Ljubisav Orbović (Beta, file)
Ljubisav Orbović (Beta, file)

This was announced by the leader of Serbia's largest trade union association, Ljubisav Orbović.

At a meeting of the representatives of SSSS and the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS) in Belgrade on Tuesday, Orbović pointed to the ongoing clash concerning radical changes to economy, whose aim is to shut down numerous companies in Serbia.

Noting that Minister Saša Radulović was "pushing the already troubled Serbian companies into complete ruin," Orbović said that trade unions are likely to stage protests and demand resignation of the economy minister.

He recalled that the trade union entered into negotiations with the Serbian government on amendments to the Labor Law, and abandoned them about two weeks later, when it became clear that the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy, and particularly the Ministry of Economy insist on radical changes to the detriment of workers.

Colleagues from Slovenian trade unions pointed out that, due to the economic crisis, workers' rights are being diluted in their country as well.

ZSSS President Dušan Semolič noted that the neo-liberal concept currently in effect in Slovenia aims to undermine the elements of a welfare state, adding that 116,000 people are unemployed and with poor prospects, especially the young.

ZSSS Executive Secretary and member of the European Economic and Social Committee Andrej Zorko stressed the good provisions of the 1989 labor law of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was even better that the EU law of 2003.

The trade union managed to incorporate some of these solutions into the new labor legislation adopted in April this year, and improve the security and rights of workers, Zorko said.