Even though plants in southern Serbia employ several thousand workers, almost none of them have a trade union that would represent them and influence on the employer to obey his contract.
According to Leskovac based secretary of the Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia for several towns and municipalities Jovica Nedeljkovic, this is mostly because people are intimidated and actually do not know their rights stipulated by both the Constitution and the Labor Law.
It is very difficult, Nedeljkovic says, to breach a barrier between newly established employers and workers, and that is because people who work for foreigners are more intimidated than lacking interest, as in these times people are scarred to lose their jobs.
In order to establish a trade union, Nedeljkovic explains, one needs an initiative and at least 10 people interested in becoming its members, all for the purpose of signing a collective agreement that, besides mandatory obligations and responsibilities, protects workers.
A shining example in southern part of our country, Nedeljkovic says, is the company Falke, as its workers have formed and registered a trade union. Even though it still has not lived up to its true purpose, there is an initiative among workers to fight for their rights.
According to president of the Trade Union “Sloga” Zeljko Veselinovic, due to cheap labor force and major subsidies that state provides towns in southern Serbia such as Vranje, Nis, Leskovac, as well as smaller municipalities in the entire country have become a Mecca for foreign investors, especially for screw-production industry that requires no educational background.
Source: Južne vesti