Montenegro, República de - Anti-union discrimination in the Montenegran Army (2012)

After changes to the Law on the Army which granted trade union rights to military personnel in December 2009, two military trade unions were founded in October and November 2010; namely the SOVCG and the SVCG.

SOVCG has reported that the Army began to exert anti-union pressure immediately after the union was founded, resulting in members leaving the union. According to SOVCG, the union was denied contact with their members during meal breaks, the contracts of army personnel who joined the union were not extended, and for one soldier appointment to a mission in Afghanistan depended on his leaving the union.

On 23 March, captain Rajko Bulatović, during a briefing on a patrol ship in Bar, accused the union of undermining the chain of command, stated that the army did not need a union and urged his subordinates to leave the union. The audio recording of the speech was later published in the media. Also in March, the Ministry of Defence initiated disciplinary proceedings against SOVCG President, Nenad Čobeljić, due to his media statements. The Ministry invoked the provision of the Law on the Army whereby army personnel are not allowed to speak in the media without the prior consent of a superior officer. Čobeljić argued he was as a union leader, pointing out the problems faced by military personnel, including trade union discrimination, and alleged malpractices in allocating military accommodation. On 29 November, Defence Minister Boro Vučinić ordered Čobeljić to be removed from his position as the Head of Department for Operations and Training in the Logistical Base of the Army of Montenegro.

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