Croacia - Serious attacks on trade union rights continue at Brodosplit Shipyard

Brodosplit Shipyard is well known for its anti-union behaviour (see previous entries in 2013 and 2015). Since 2015 when the employer inexplicably cancelled the existing collective agreement, negotiations for the conclusion of a new agreement never really started, leaving the workers at the mercy of the employer’s will.
In 2017 Brodosplit Shipyard and some 50 other subsidiaries on the site presented workers with a form whereby they were forced to disaffiliate from the union. As a result, around 1,500 union members were pressured into leaving the union. Newly recruited workers, mostly young and migrant workers, were warned not to join a union when they signed their employment contract. They were told that “their best union is their employer”.
Furthermore, the regional representative and main shop steward at Brodosplit Shipyard received threats on his mobile phone because of his activities in the company. These threats were reported to the police and an investigation is ongoing. Targeted attacks on unions and union members are quite frequent at Brodosplit Shipyard. In 2016 the owner of Brodosplit Shipyard had already occupied the company union’s offices and confiscated its documents, thus preventing the trade union from carrying out its activities. While fear prevented the company union from reporting this act to the police, the sectoral union, Sindikat metalaca Hrvatske-Industrijski sindikat (SMH-IS), lodged a complaint to denounce these serious attacks on trade union rights As of this date the cases are still pending before the courts.

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