Serbia - Trade union leaders dismissed (2012)

Six trade union leaders were dismissed in February 2011 by the electrical equipment company Zastava Elektro, in Rača, which since 2010 has been a subsidiary of South Korean multinational Yura, The six included the company union President Nela Obradović, Vice-President Marijana Ilić and Secretary Vera Petrović. The other three dismissed were members of the company trade union committee. Obradović and Ilić were dismissed on the pretext that they did not prevent the leadership of the United Trade Union Sloga, to which the company union is affiliated, from speaking in public about the problems in the company, which damaged its reputation. The company union had only just been founded, in January, and the Korean management was repeatedly accused by Sloga of anti-union pressure, including threatening to dismiss the workers who join the union, as well as of numerous violations of workers’ rights and mobbing. The President of Sloga Željko Veselinović stated that after the dismissal of the six unionists the trade union in the company, which organised 120 out of 1000 workers, effectively ceased to exist, as remaining members of the trade union committee gave up union work due to pressure from the employer. The Labour Inspectorate ordered that only two of the dismissed unionists, not including Obradović and Ilić, were to be returned to work. All six of them have filed charges.

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