Union leaders: Changes to Labor Law unacceptable

BELGRADE -- The proposed changes to the Labor Law are unacceptable as they would deny many rights to workers, Ljubisav Orbović and Branislav Čanak have agreed.

L-R: Ljubisav Orbović, Branislav Čanak (Beta, file)
L-R: Ljubisav Orbović, Branislav Čanak (Beta, file)

Orbović heads the Alliance of Independent Trade Unions of Serbia (SSSS), while Čanak is president of the Trade Union Confederation "Nezavisnost" (Independence).

In a live morning broadcast on the Belgrade-based TV Pink, Orbović said that the bill sets forth changes to 150 articles of the valid law, 140 of them reducing the rights of employees.

The bill paves the way for firing workforce more easily, and reducing salaries of all employees by EUR 50, based on a different method that would be used when calculating salaries, annual holidays, sick leaves and years of service.

The SSSS president noted that, according to the bill, only years of service spent with the last employer would be taken into account when settling redundancy payments, and that no objection of any trade union was accepted.

Orbović said that it is not true that the trade union blocked the holding of a public debate on the draft bill of amendments to the Labor Law in Novi Sad last week, but that that "the hall was inadequate, and could not possibly take in all members of trade unions who wanted to attend."

Appearing on the same program, Čanak said that the adoption of this bill, which has the declarative goal of curbing the grey economy, would have a completely different effect and cause “an explosion of the grey economy.”

Čanak stressed that the trade union did not get a single answer to any question concerning results that the proposed bill would have in terms of investment and jobs.