Serbia - Government refuses to consult unions over labour law changes (2013)

The government has ignored established procedures to force changes through Parliament affecting minimum wage entitlements, employment provisions, pensions and disability insurance. Foreign business interests, notably the US Chamber of Commerce, have been actively pressing the government to reduce collective bargaining rights, increase the maximum duration of temporary employment contracts, reduce severance pay and holiday allowances and re-define equal pay rules. Specifically, the laws that the government aims to amend are the following: the Labour Law; Law on Privatisation; Law on Bankruptcy; and the Law on Retirement and Disability Insurance. Approaches by national trade union centres CATUS and Nezavisnost to the Government for dialogue have been rebuffed, leaving the unions no option but to launch the general strike on 17 July 2014.

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