Montenegro, República de - Trade unionist Sandra Obradovic unfairly dismissed from KAP Company subject to bankruptcy proceedings

Sandra Obradovic, president of the most representative trade union in Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica (KAP), the most important company in Montenegro in producing and processing aluminium, was unfairly dismissed because of her active role as a trade unionist. KAP, following business problems that occurred after its privatisation, introduced a receivership procedure in May 2013 in order to foster its economic recovery. During the whole time the company underwent bankruptcy proceedings, workers were not allowed their right to annual leave. In response to such abuse Mrs Obradovic made a complaint against the company’s denial of the right to annual leave and, after being ignored by KAP’s management, referred the issue directly to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Being consulted, the Ministry issued an opinion clarifying the fact that even during bankruptcy procedure employees do have the right to annual leave. With the Ministry’s opinion, Mrs Obradovic went back to KAP’s management which, in response, giving only one day notice dismissed her adducing the excuse of further rationalisation of production costs and the need of rejuvenating the staff. Nevertheless, the discriminatory nature of the dismissal was crystal clear a few days after when a new person was hired in Mrs Obradovic’s role. In response to the anti-union behaviour of the company, and in consultation with UFTUM, the Executive Board of TU at KAP decided to confirm Mrs Obradovic in her role as president of the union. On 30 April 2015, Mrs Obradovic tried to enter trade unionpremises in her role as president, but the access was denied by KAP private security at the entrance. Once again KAP’s behaviour confirmed its anti-union attitude being also in breach of Montenegrin General Collective Agreement and Criminal Code, both providing legal obligation for the employer to ensure premises for trade union activities.

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