Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Union Announces Strike of Croatian Flight Controllers Over Burnout Issues

ZAGREB, 19 July 2022 - The HSSKL trade union of Croatian flight controllers on Tuesday said that its members will go on strike at 0700 hrs Thursday over burnout and exhaustion issues.

On the first day of their industrial action, the number of planes flying over Croatia will be reduced to 40% of the total prescribed capacity, and the traffic at airports will not be affected until Saturday.

However, on 23 July the union threatens to reduce the capacity of the total planned planes at all the Croatian airports, except in Osijek, by 50%.

The HSSKL union today expressed hope that the unionists will reach an agreement with the management of Croatia Control in charge of the air traffic management in addressing the issues of burnout and exhaustion of flight controllers.

The negotiations on this matter started on 24 March according to the union that demands changes in the organization of shifts for flight controllers and has warned of the shortage of professionals in this sector.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

SSSH Union Federation Protests to Demand Higher Pay, More Collective Bargaining

ZAGREB, 1 May 2022 - The SSSH union federation marked International Workers' Day in Zagreb on Sunday with a protest march down the city streets and a rally outside the Croatian Employers Association, where they pointed to the need for pay rises and collective bargaining.

The march was held under the motto "For a Croatia of happy workers," with the participants asking for "normal working hours," "higher pay" and "open-ended contracts."

The unions' central demands and messages were higher pay and more collective agreements, notably branch collective agreements in the private sector, which employs nearly one million people, and more effective oversight of their application.

Living standards and the real value of wages are jeopardised by price hikes and inflation, they said, adding that pay rises are the only solution.

They said pay rises could only be achieved by increasing the number of collective agreements in the private sector, adding that only two are in force in Croatia and that only one was expanded to all employers.

The responsibility for that is primarily on employers and their associations, most of which refuse collective bargaining, the unions said.

SSSH leader Mladen Novosel said employers and the government should realise that the low cost of labour was history.

"Today's protest is the first warning to employers that there will be more strikes and industrial actions than ever if they refuse to bargain at the sector level", he added.

Novosel said the government was not doing enough via the Labour Act and other regulations to encourage sector bargaining, and even less to ensure proper oversight of the application of the sector agreements that exist.

He said that some Croatian workers still do not have an eight-hour workday for which workers spilt blood on the streets of Chicago in 1886.

Novosel said some workers who should not be, were working today, on a holiday, and that only Croatian workers were leaving for other EU countries while those from them were not coming to work in Croatia.

As a result, he added, there is a shortage of thousands of workers in tourism and construction "because we are at the bottom in terms of the cost of labour and the treatment of workers."

Nosovel reiterated the demand that by 2026 the average pay in Croatia should be at least €1,500 and the minimum wage €750 net.

He also criticised the unions in the Zagreb Holding conglomerate for currying favour with the employer, which he said was sacking workers instead of protecting them.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Unions Announce Protest March, Rally on Labour Day

ZAGREB, 21 April 2022 - After a two-year break, the SSSH union federation will mark International Workers' Day on 1 May with a protest march and rally in Zagreb to warn about the need for pay rises, better protection of workers' rights, and collective bargaining.

After two years when International Workers' Day could not be observed due to COVID, the conditions now exist for doing it in a safe and appropriate way, with a protest, Dijana Šobota of the SSSH told the press on Thursday.

€750 minimum wage goal by 2026

SSSH president Mladen Novosel said the unions' goal was for the average pay to be at least €1,500 and minimum wage €750 by 2026. He is confident the goal will be achieved through collective agreements, which, he said, some employers continue to refuse.

The protest rally will be the first warning that we will do everything in the coming period to have a clear system and pace of collective bargaining in the private sector as well as maximum coverage of workers with collective agreements, he said.

We demand that the government, as the employer, raise wages in the public sector in line with GDP and inflation growth, and that, as the legislator, it encourages collective bargaining and reduces currying favor with employers, he added.

Novosel said that despite the government's measures, the cost of living had additionally increased due to the war in Ukraine and that he hoped the government would agree to public sector unions' pay rise demands.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Jadrolinija Seafarers Protest in Zadar

ZAGREB, 10 March 2022 - Seafarers employed in the Jadrolinija Croatian national shipping company on Thursday rallied in the port of Gaženica, Zadar, to protest against low pays and the model of overtime payment.

A leader of the independent trade union of seafarers in Jadrolinija, Nikica Grbić, said that the rally had brought together over a hundred seafarers who expressed their dissatisfaction with the retirement package. Gbrić said that upon retirement, former seafarers were paid only HRK 8,000 as severance pay.

The unionist said that the negotiations on the national collective agreement had been ongoing for a decade.

The disgruntled seafarers criticized the current acting chairman of the Jadrolinija board, David Sopta, claiming he is incompetent.

For more, check out our business section.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Minister Warns Against Manipulation of Facts at Union Protest

ZAGREB, 23 Sept 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Thursday that a union protest of nurses is a legitimate and democratic way of expressing one's position and demanding rights but he noted that there is no room for manipulation of facts.

The introduction of new anti-epidemic measures for employees in medical and social care institutions at the beginning of October has elicited debates in a part of the public, prompting some of the unions representing health sector employees to stage a public protest, said the minister.

"The protest to be held today by the Nurses Union... is a legitimate and democratic way to express one's positions and demands regarding certain outstanding issues and I support it as such," Beroš said in a statement when asked by the media to comment on the protest to be held in downtown Zagreb.

He added that what he did not have understanding for was the purposeful manipulation of facts regarding the announced introduction of new epidemiological rules in medical institutions, notably those that treat patients, who are the most vulnerable group in terms of possible infection with coronavirus and its consequences.

"As Health Minister, it is my obligation to take all necessary measures to prevent the infection from entering and spreading in the health sector, notably hospitals," he said.

COVID-19 certificates will be required for employees in the health and social care systems as of 1 October.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.