According to the Global Rights Index, in Serbia, the rights of workers are respected as much as the rights of workers in Africa and Asia. The same goes for Romania, North Macedonia and Hungary.
The index highlights that collective bargaining rights were severely trampled in North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, while workers in Poland had to face employers’ union-busting practices. Poland’s score was 3 (regular violation of rights), while Serbia scored 4 (systematic violations of rights).
The worst country in Europe according to the report, was Belarus, with a score 5, indicating “no guarantee of rights”.
As for Serbia, the report states that employers have often dismissed, transferred, or demoted workers and trade union members (or used threats of such measures) to deter them from joining trade unions or engaging in trade union activities, as was the case at Yura Corporation, a cable and harnessing manufacturing company.
The report goes on to say that employers often refused to enter negotiations with the representatives of trade unions, unduly delayed negotiations, or circumvented workers’ representation by entering into individual negotiations with workers. Furthermore, workers’ access to courts and judicial recourse was severely impeded by the imposition of high legal fees and other expenses. Workers suffered from undue delays in the adjudication of labour disputes and had to resort to international mechanisms, such as the European Court of Human Rights, to seek justice.
In regard to the global situation with workers’ rights, Secretary General of the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), Luc Triangle, said:” The 2023 ITUC Global Rights Index provides shocking evidence that the foundations of democracy are under attack. There is a clear link between workers’ rights being upheld and the strength of any democracy. The erosion of one amounts to the degradation of the other. Across both high-income and low-income countries, as working people have faced a historic cost-of-living crisis and spiralling inflation driven by corporate greed, governments have cracked down on the right to collectively negotiate wage rises and take strike action.”
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