3 – Regular violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Montenegro

The ITUC affiliate in Montenegro is the Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro (SSCG).

In practice

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Workers strike in Shipyard Bijela for unpaid wages30-06-2015

On the 30 June 2015, 126 workers out of the total 392 employed by Adriatic Shipyard Bijela were dismissed, following a Commercial Court’s decision to launch bankruptcy proceedings after the failure of four tenders. Workers responded through a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, demanding a five-year service gap and unpaid salaries due from March to June. A meeting between representatives of the Shipyard and the Government was organised; workers announced that if the meeting didn’t produce a successful outcome, they would radicalise their protest preventing ships from leaving or entering the shipyard. This strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
was only one of a series declared by Montenegrin Workers in 2015 against unpaid wages and undermined rights following the opening bankruptcy procedures. Other strikes occurred, amongst others, at Metalac, at Kolasin local self-government as well as at Podgorica Tobacco Company.

Trade unionist Sandra Obradovic unfairly dismissed from KAP Company subject to bankruptcy proceedings29-05-2015

Sandra Obradovic, president of the most representative trade union in Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica (KAP), the most important company in Montenegro in producing and processing aluminium, was unfairly dismissed because of her active role as a trade unionist. KAP, following business problems that occurred after its privatisation, introduced a receivership procedure in May 2013 in order to foster its economic recovery. During the whole time the company underwent bankruptcy proceedings, workers were not allowed their right to annual leave. In response to such abuse Mrs Obradovic made a complaint against the company’s denial of the right to annual leave and, after being ignored by KAP’s management, referred the issue directly to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Being consulted, the Ministry issued an opinion clarifying the fact that even during bankruptcy procedure employees do have the right to annual leave. With the Ministry’s opinion, Mrs Obradovic went back to KAP’s management which, in response, giving only one day notice dismissed her adducing the excuse of further rationalisation of production costs and the need of rejuvenating the staff. Nevertheless, the discriminatory nature of the dismissal was crystal clear a few days after when a new person was hired in Mrs Obradovic’s role. In response to the anti-union behaviour of the company, and in consultation with UFTUM, the Executive Board of TU at KAP decided to confirm Mrs Obradovic in her role as president of the union. On 30 April 2015, Mrs Obradovic tried to enter trade unionpremises in her role as president, but the access was denied by KAP private security at the entrance. Once again KAP’s behaviour confirmed its anti-union attitude being also in breach of Montenegrin General Collective Agreement and Criminal Code, both providing legal obligation for the employer to ensure premises for trade union activities.

Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro calls international support against the Bankruptcy Law allowing limitations of workers’ rights01-04-2016

The Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (UFTUM) called attention to the Montenegrin Law on Bankruptcy. According to the current law, in fact when a receivership procedure begins in the enterprise, employees can be subject to a series of serious limitations of their individual and collective rights. The issue has become one of compelling importance during the last five years, considering that in such a short amount of time 2,363 Montenegrin enterprises started bankruptcy proceedings.
Workers of these companies see their rights undermined despite the express recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. they have in Labour Law and other regulations. Employees of bankrupt companies seem to have no choice but to bear discriminatory conditions in comparison with the ones applied to the rest of their Montenegrin colleagues. In particular, with respect to what concerns individual rights, they do not enjoy the right to annual leave; the right to paid absence due to temporary inability to work; the right to paid overtime; the right to occupational health and safety; the right to a 40-hour working week; and the right to days-off during weekend. Furthermore, they are discriminated against on a salary-base: in accordance with the Law on Bankruptcy, trustees can pay the minimum wage for full-time work, thus not having to enforce collective agreements’ and laws’ provisions regulating salary in the sector. In addition to individual rights’ limitations, when in bankruptcy, the enterprise can also limit collective rights: a trade union cannot organise nor can it act in such companies and the workers do not enjoy the right to freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
.

Anti-union discrimination04-05-2012
Anti-union discrimination31-12-2011

Dismissals, demotions and discrimination of trade union activists are not uncommon. The right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
is often limited in practice, and trade unionists face reprisals including threats of dismissals for their union activism. Restrictive laws on strikes and highly flexible employment relations amplify the problem. As a result, most of the strikes occur only after months of unpaid wages, usually in the companies already facing bankruptcy.

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