The Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions (ASNS), which launched the initiative to make Sunday a non-working day, said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic “has rendered the initiative meaningless and humiliated both workers and trade unions.”
Last night, Vučić said that he will not accept demands for Sunday to be declared a non-working day in Serbia. “Sunday cannot be a non-working day. I will not allow it. Whoever does not want to work on Sunday, they can leave and work in other countries,” he said.
ASNS wrote in the statement that Vučić has also “humiliated government ministries” which had already formed task forces and “seriously started to consider the initiative.”
The trade union association also underlined that workers who work on Sundays, without any compensation, during national and religious holidays, in three shifts, are fighting for their basic rights and dignity.
“These rights are systematically revoked through existing laws, policies and practices; workers are introduced into the system of precariousness in which they are not only left without any protection and at the mercy of the employer but now their right to propose and demand that Sunday should be a non-working day is also revoked,” believes ASNS, which points out that the late Patriarch Irinej supported the initiative for workers not to work on Sundays.
“The grandiose percentages that the government keeps citing do not pay people’s bills nor can we live off the fact that “Serbia is the best in Europe”. Workers have to have a better life and be paid wages that cover a minimum consumption basket, pay utilities, educate children, but also spend Sundays with their children, parents and friends,” concluded the ASNS.
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