Pavicevic: Trade unions in a hostile environment

Professor of the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, Djordje Pavićević, assessed that “tthe so.called neoliberal revolution “caused a very unfavorable, practically hostile climate for the unions.

“Trade unions are seen in such a climate as a disruptive factor for the functioning of the system and therefore their role should not be great. At the same time we have the effects of the technological revolution. This is especially evident after changes in the Labor Law. “, Pavicevic said for UGS Nezavisnost.

He pointed out the very difficult relationship between unions and employers, and assessed that those who manage large systems, which the state generously helps, are even allowed to stifle union work or form their own unions.

“In our country, a large part of the economy depends on the state, it protects them in some way. We see that especially with foreign investors. We remember when the question was asked about Jure and Vučić’s statement ‘don’t scare my investors’. So, the state cares about capital and what human resources are is expendable, “Pavicevic said.

He added that he had heard statements from some employers that they did not need a union, because they communicate directly with the workers, which, according to him, makes the mechanisms for protecting the rights of employees largely meaningless.

Speaking about the biggest workers’ and union’s problems in Serbia, Pavićević said that there are more and more workers who do not have a stable job.

“The biggest problem is that the amendments to the Labor Law from the 90’s have destroyed the concept of a job that existed. That is why the concept of a collective agreement can still be realized in some places today, but it is very difficult, because there is a hostile environment …. we need less and less classic labor force, so that these people will probably never be able to organize according to the current model, “Pavicevic estimated.

He believes that capital and property are protected much more than labor and that there are whole categories of people who work without a contract that would protect them from the arbitrariness of the employer.

“Today, there are agencies that employ people and then rent them as labor with other employers … They cannot form a union in one company. In addition, the agencies have zero.base contracts that do not oblige the employer to pay them if in any They were not engaged in that period. There is space that the unions could use for some other forms of organizing people. For example, the law on cooperatives allows these people to self.organize, “Pavicevic said.

He pointed out that a strike is an effective means of struggle by which workers directly confront the employer.

“It may be the only legal way to show that the whole system actually depends on you. Because, that can do damage to the employer that does not suit him at all and because of which he can be ready for some agreement with employees. The problem is that this tool is not available to many, “Pavicevic said.

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