Labour Union in Serbia in the Period of Trasition – European Law & Business

LawFuel.com – Since the Republic of Serbia has started the process of transition which also comprises company privatization, it is necessary to protect interests and rights of employees. Labour unions have the most significant role in that field. The oldest union organization at the level of Republic is the Federation of Independent Unions of Serbia. The United Sectional Union Independence is the second most important union organization. It cooperates with unions from numerous countries. Among sectional unions, the Police Union of Serbia, which has become the first representative union in the history of police in Serbia, is also significant.

Employees in Serbia can organize themselves through The Council of Employees and the Union of Employees. The legal source for this consideration is the current Labour Act of the Republic of Serbia, which was passed in 2005. Employees can form the Council of Employees if the employer`s company has more than 50 employees. The role of the Council of Employees is to give opinions and take part in decision making regarding economic and social rights of employees. Even though there is an institution such as the Council of Employees, the precedence is given to the union, which is the topic of this article.

A union is considered to be representative if: it has been established and its functioning is based on the principles of the freedom of union organizing and operating; if it is independent of state organs and an employer; if it is mainly financed from subscription and other independent sources; if it has the necessary number of members; if it has been inscribed in the register of unions. A union at an employer is considered to be representative if it consists of at least 15% of employees who work for that employer. For the territory of the Republic of Serbia, territorial autonomy units or local self – management units, a representative union is the one in which there are at least 10% of employees out of total number of employees who work for a branch, group or in some activities.

Whether a union at an amployer is representative is established by an employer, and if it is not established in that way, then a union has a right to put in claim for the establishment to the Board for the Establishment of Representativeness. For the territory of the Republic of Serbia, territorial autonomy units or local self – management units, whether a union is representative is established by a minister at the proposal of the Board for the Establishment of Representativeness. The mentioned Board consists of three representatives of the Gavernment, union and employers association that are named every four years.

The rights of a representative union are: the right to collective negotiation and conclusion of collective contract, the right to take part in the settling of collective work disputes, the right to take part in the work of tripartite and multipartite bodies, etc.

The union of employees is due to submit to the employer the act on the inscription in the register of unions and the decision on the election of the president and union organ members within 8 days since the day of the submission of the act on the inscription in the register of unions. The employer is due to provide technical and spatial conditions and access to the data and information which are necessary for the performance of union activities.

It is difficult and it takes a lot of time for the countries in the process of transition to form professional, massive and financially stable union, the reason for this is the fact that the employees in these countries, as a general rule, do not recognize the significance of the union.

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