Croatia: New Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Construction Industry

“The coverage of all workers and employers will have multiple positive effects”, says Jasenka Vuksic, president of the SGH in Croatia and member of the World Council of the BWI. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the construction industry was concluded in Croatia on the occasion of the Construction Workers Day on 25 September 2015 and issued on 15 December 2015.

After the successful negotiations of the Trade Union of Construction Industry of Croatia, SGH, and the Construction Industry Association of Croatia HUP-UPG last year, both social partners also signed a joint proposal submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Retirement System for the coverage of all workers and employers, including those that are not members of the SGH and HUP-UPG, by the signed Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement introduced few innovations in terms of rights and obligations of the workers’ health and safety representative, education and training for work, and in particular, working time, breaks and leaves. The CBA regulates also the salaries/tariffs, allowances and material rights of workers and the conditions for work of the trade union. The rights of posted workers is regulated in an additional annex to the CBA. With the accession of Croatian in the EU in 2013 Croatian workers can freely work, without restrictions in more than 15 EU countries.

For Jasenka Vuksic: ”Among others equalization of the material and social situation of the workers, the removal of unfair competition in the construction industry because of using cheaper and exploited labour force and mitigating undeclared work and the gray economy, control of calculation and payment of gross salary.”

SGH and HUP-UPG are continuously developing their partnership. In the frame of an EU funded project, implemented by the UATUC (to which SGH is affiliated) and the HUP, a joint data base, including 200 collective bargaining agreements out of 550 that are in force in the country - 29 related to the construction industry, has been developed and presented in October 2015. In addition, the data includes 150 indicators for each CBA which allows an analysis of the content and provides statistics. See www.kolektivni-ugovori.info

Among the various initiatives, the SGH has, recently initiated the discussion about the development of paritarian funds in the construction industry and is continuing with its organising drives in infrastructure projects.