SRGIGMS fights for equal work for equal pay in Smederevo Serbia

22 May 2017 11:39

The members of the Trade Union of Workers in Construction and Building Materials of Serbia – SEGIGMS employed at the Serbian company “ZMAJ AD”, Smederevo were exposed to dismissals because of unfair competition of sub-contractors in a project of the Steel Factory in Smederevo. The company got a contract for some construction works in the project where hundred workers were employed. The union reports good cooperation with the local and national trade Union, SRGIGMS. However, due to non-loyal competition workers started to be dismissed in November 2016 when contracts were awarded to other sub-contractors of the steel factory that were paying workers for same works below the national regulations, without individual employment contracts and appropriate occupational health and safety. The management of “ZMAJ AD”, Smederevo and the SRGIGMS, Serbia launched a joint action to solve the situation and approached the labour inspection with the request to control the situation on the spot. 

The inspection was conducted in December 2016 in several sub-contracting firms and found out that 7 workers of „Jugogradnja” and 18 workers of „Centar-Evrogradnja” were not registered at the social security funds and had no employment contracts, which was then done by an order of the labour inspection and workers were registered at the social security funds and concluded employment contracts. Also, other violations of the Labour Law and Labour on health and safety were found and the employer was ordered to correct these. 

The labour inspection will continue monitoring in the site and the union members and workers employed at the “ZMAJ AD” were again re-employed.

The possibility of organizing workers under the union fold in the two disputed sub-contractors is currently marked by difficulties as the SRGIGMS has no access to the site of the Steel company. Hence, through the local union at the company “Zmaj” these workers are being brot under the union fold as individual members of the SRGIGMS, which is applied in such conditions. 

“The cooperation with employers who respect workers and trade union rights is of utmost importance in ensuring decent work and successful business in the construction sector. We defend the principle of equal pay for equal work and will not allow exploitation of workers by irresponsible employers. The social partners and the state through its mechanisms have to prevent bad practices and the SGIGM will struggle for it”, said Sasa Torlakovic, president of SGIGM, Serbia.