Croacia - Persistent anti-union pressure against drivers union (2012)

The Municipal Court in Sinj ordered the reinstatement of Anto Buljan and Branko Norac, shop stewards from the Trade Union of Drivers and Traffic Workers of Autoprijevoz, who were dismissed in April 2010 without the consent of their union. In the case of Buljan, the employer appealed but the County Court in Split confirmed the first-instance decision. In October 2011, the employer filed a suit against Buljan, demanding compensation for damaging the company’s reputation by going on hunger strike the previous year. On 16 November, union members Ivan Čupić, Slavko Bračulj and Igor Tokić started a hunger strike after being made redundant, while only six weeks earlier four new drivers were employed on fixed-term contracts, due to the increased volume of work. On the first day of their action, the employer hired security guards who attempted to oust the workers from the company premises, and after failing to do so, locked them into the building. The workers were unlocked only after the arrival of the police. The Croatian Association of Trade Unions (HUS), which also has a branch in the company, reported the employer’s attempt to dismiss their shop steward Veljko Nasić in July 2011. Both unions also stated that the employer is sponsoring a yellow union among newly employed workers. Following an investigation initiated in 2010, in September 2011 the County State Attorney’s Office in Split issued an indictment against the owner and company director Joško Jerkan and two other members of the management for a wide range of malpractices in the company’s operations.

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