Croacia - Employers interfering in collective bargaining

The Sindikat metalaca Hrvatske-Industrijski sindikat (SMH-IS) has denounced the general reluctance of employers to engage in collective bargaining, using stalling tactics, favouring negotiations with one trade union (yellow union) over another, or outright refusal to negotiate. For example, in the retail sector, employers have constantly delayed negotiations, and it took over four years to finally conclude the branch collective agreement. In most cases, employers justified their opposition to bargain collectively by the existence of company by-laws, which they are obliged to adopt in companies of more than 20 workers, as provided in the Labour Code. However, by-laws usually just reproduce the text of the Labour Code, and questions of wages and working conditions are not regulated in detail, if at all. These gaps leave wide discretionary power to employers to set working conditions.

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