We Were Right

In connection with the news that the American Bar Association has published an analysis of the impact of the provisions of the Draft Law on Work Engagement due to Increased Workload in Certain Activities, we would like to draw the public attention to the fact that civil society organizations gathered around the Initiative “I also live in the off-season” have been pointing out the risks of this proposal and demanded its withdrawal during the public hearing held in September.

We use the opportunity to point out the harmfulness of provisions in terms of violation of workers’ rights. As we warned earlier, this Draft Law abolishes the possibility for workers to protect themselves through their right to organize and collective bargaining, fails to offer dignified standards in terms of working conditions and safety at work, and leads to further flexibilization of labor relations and exploitation of domestic and foreign workers.

Moreover, after the completion of the public debate and after publishing the conclusions of the line ministry stating that the Draft Law will be sent to the International Labor Organization for an opinion, no information has been provided to the public whether the Draft Law has been sent and, if so, what is the ILO position on the matter. Bearing in mind the previous practice of the authorities with similar problematic laws, we hereby express our concern that they will wait for an opportune moment when the attention of the professional public is directed elsewhere to adopt this regulation that is harmful to workers.

We have been pointing out the harmfulness of this Draft Law which we witnessed in the still unsolved case of exploitation of workers from Vietnam working on the construction of the LingLong factory. This case actually shows the intentions of the legislator and indicates what kind of future for workers in Serbia it envisages.

Finally, we emphasize that the very fact that the regulation assessment has been conducted by an expert international institution that will not be affected by it, indicates that it is crucial to call attention to the harmfulness of this Draft Law as well as the scope of labor rights that will be violated by it.

For the Initiative “I also live in the off-season:

Centre of Modern Skills
A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights
“Zajedničko” Platform