Montenegro, República de - Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro calls international support against the Bankruptcy Law allowing limitations of workers’ rights

The Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (UFTUM) called attention to the Montenegrin Law on Bankruptcy. According to the current law, in fact when a receivership procedure begins in the enterprise, employees can be subject to a series of serious limitations of their individual and collective rights. The issue has become one of compelling importance during the last five years, considering that in such a short amount of time 2,363 Montenegrin enterprises started bankruptcy proceedings.
Workers of these companies see their rights undermined despite the express recognition they have in Labour Law and other regulations. Employees of bankrupt companies seem to have no choice but to bear discriminatory conditions in comparison with the ones applied to the rest of their Montenegrin colleagues. In particular, with respect to what concerns individual rights, they do not enjoy the right to annual leave; the right to paid absence due to temporary inability to work; the right to paid overtime; the right to occupational health and safety; the right to a 40-hour working week; and the right to days-off during weekend. Furthermore, they are discriminated against on a salary-base: in accordance with the Law on Bankruptcy, trustees can pay the minimum wage for full-time work, thus not having to enforce collective agreements’ and laws’ provisions regulating salary in the sector. In addition to individual rights’ limitations, when in bankruptcy, the enterprise can also limit collective rights: a trade union cannot organise nor can it act in such companies and the workers do not enjoy the right to freedom of association.

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