Vukasin Pavlovic: Trade unions are needed more than ever

Sociologist Vukasin Pavlovic stated that the state and the government do not respect trade unions enough.

“We live in a system in which the government, on the one hand, is not self-critical, and on the other hand, it is very vindictive towards those who criticize it,” Pavlović said for the UGS Nezavisnost portal.

Answering the question how much he trusts the unions in Serbia, Pavlović, who is a professor emeritus of the University of Belgrade, pointed out the very difficult position of the unions, which is also caused by the difficult position of the employees.

“We are witnesses that the state often opens new plants by giving large subsidies to investors, usually foreign ones. They keep production while earning from the state, and then there are mass layoffs. At the same time, they are not interested in workers’ rights … When you have an army unemployed and when employment, unfortunately, goes only along the party line, then you have multiple negative effects on the unions … So, it is not easy for the unions in that triangle with the state and employers, “he said.

Speaking about what the unions should do to improve the position of the employed, the unemployed and pensioners, he said that “the union does not benefit from the fact that people remember it when they need it”.

“When the situation is normal, so to speak – regularly, as if no one has an interest in the union, which is wrong. , especially young people, were advised to join the union. Even when I was the dean of the Faculty, I thought that the union was a field of protection in case of repression. The union still has to have that protective function, “said Pavlović.

He added that unions, in order to be successful in that, should adapt to changes, both technological and social, as well as political.

Pavlović emphasized that the unions must change their strategies, because today’s circumstances are different than two or more decades ago.

“Regardless of all the changes, the need for a union has not stopped. It is true that today it is harder for unions than before, but also that there is more work for them today than ever,” Pavlović said.

He also pointed out “a big problem due to the terrible influence of the ruling party, which put the entire society under control, including the field of work and labor relations.”

“There is one phenomenon that has never been seen before, because it was inconceivable that incompetent staff run large systems. The ruling party appoints people who have no competence to run systems such as railways, electricity,” Pavlovic said.

Pavlović explained the great influence of the SNS among the employees with pragmatic motives.

“The fact that the SNS has a strong influence and a large number of members is caused by the fact that people, regardless of whether they believe or accept the party’s program, simply resort to joining because they believe that it is the only chance to get a job or not lose it. aware that political parties as a whole do not respect workers and trade unions as a whole. That is why even democratic parties in the opposition count more on the support of middle classes from urban areas than on lower social structures, especially workers in production, mining and other difficult branches, “he said. Pavlović.

He added that even parties that put themselves in the position of the center-left, such as the Socialist Party of Serbia, do not sufficiently represent the interests of employees, regardless of their political and ideological profile.

By Editor

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