Serbia - Ungrounded prosecutions

In 2015 NEZAVISNOST Transport and Telecommunications Trade Union faced an accusation of tax evasion (non-payment of taxes for trade union membership fees), supported by immediate initiation of tax infringement proceedings and criminal prosecution against the union president. Tax inspectors had been investigating financial records of the union. The president of the union was threatened with arrest and seizure of his personal property, as well as the trade union property. He has been pressured to settle as soon as possible and to make the payment of the questionable tax. The legality of the tax prosecution was questionable in the view of existing clarification of the Ministry of Finance about the payment of taxes from trade union fees. Simultaneously, the amount of the requested tax was of such an amount that it put at risk the financial survival of the union. The prosecution therefore raises questions about possible anti-union intimidation and harassment.
The prosecution also intervened during the labour dispute in two emergency medical service companies owned by the local government (Blood Transfusion Institute Nis and Health Centre). There were cases of police interrogation of the trade union representatives involved in the dispute.

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