4 – Systematic violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In practice

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Anti-union practices at government-owned forest company 23-05-2018

According to the Trade Union of Forest, Wood and Paper of Republic of Srpska (SSPDPRS), the management of the Public Forestry Company in the Republic Srpska continued its practice of interfering in trade union matters by issuing instructions to the directors of the company’s local branches concerning “activities regarding the organization of the trade union”. The management also continued to give generous support to a management-controlled staff representation, for example, by putting at the disposal of their members the company vehicles.
These activities are direct interference into internal matters of a free and democratic trade union. “We will continue the struggle against the interference of the management of the Public Forest Company in internal matters of the union and will fight for genuine representation of workers’ rights in the forest and wood sectors through collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
and other legal means,” said Vlado Pavlovic, president of the Trade Union of Forest, Wood and Paper of Republic of Srpska (SSPDPRS).

Interference in trade union activities and anti-union discrimination26-04-2016

There are numerous cases of dismissing trade union representatives, intimidation or pressure to leave the trade union or join a “yellow” union. In one case the employer prepared union membership termination forms and pushed 300 trade union members to resign from membership in one day. In practice, it is difficult to set up a trade union organisation without the implicit approval of the employer. Employers often attempt to influence the results of trade union elections by pressuring members on how to vote. Some companies deduct trade union fees from the workers’ salaries, but they do not transfer this money to the trade union account, that is, they use this money as they like.

Serious intimidation during a political demonstration15-12-2015

In December 2015, the Government of Republika Srpska announced the adoption of extensive amendments to the labour law. The new labour law is part of the reform agenda that has been made as a condition for getting a new loan from the International Monetary Fund. Trade unions have not been involved in the legislative process, and the law was pushed through by an emergency fast-track procedure. The law considerably deregulates the employment relationship and was deemed unacceptable by trade unions who called for a national demonstration. There were serious cases of intimidation and harassment during the demonstration, including an excessive use of undercover agents. These agents recorded and took photos of the protestors. In addition, snipers were placed at the roof of the National Assembly building and at the neighbouring buildings. All buses bringing protestors to the demonstration were stopped and controlled by the police. Protestors had to give their personal details, including name and family name, address and company they work for. Prior to the demonstration the police came unannounced to the trade union offices and demanded personal lists of workers who would be joining the protest. The President of Republika Srpska and other government representatives publically called on the workers – trade union members – not to join the protest and stay at home. Organisers of the protest were accused of destabilisation and destruction of the Republika Srpska.

Company interference21-06-2013

The company Global Ispat Koksana Inustrija Lukavac , employer of about 1,000 workers, not only failed to pay wages on time but also unilaterally decreased wages below the national minimum wage. Moreover, management regularly attempts to intimidate the local Independent trade union of chemistry and non-metals workers of the FBIH. On 21 June 2013, management asked about 60 senior workers to leave the union and set an example to other workers.

Restrictions on trade union registration 27-02-2012

In 2008, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Republika Srpska (SSRS) filed a request with the RS Ministry of Labour and Disability Protection to amend the Book of Rules on the registration of trade union organisations. According to the rules, only presidents of trade union organisations may be registered; and only if they have an open-ended employment contract. As a consequence, many companies cannot establish trade unions, as there are no workers with open-ended contracts. SSRS therefore asked that workers with fixed term contracts be given the right to be registered in the Register of Trade Union Organisations and enjoy special protection. However, this amendment has not been implemented.

Anti-union multinationals31-12-2010

The Confederation of Trade Unions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (KSBiH) reports that multinationals, especially in the commerce sector, strongly oppose trade unions. Workers in large shopping malls are threatened with dismissal if they join a trade union. Dismissals of trade union officials and reprisals for 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
organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. are not infrequent, and in a country where the official unemployment rate is close to 50%, such cases discourage many workers from joining a union. However, the situation did improve in Interlex, where the workers were previously threatened with a 50% wage cut if they formed a union. In October, the Trade Union of Workers in Commerce and Services of BiH (STBIH) held a trade union assembly in the company and elected five shop stewards.

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