Note from LeftEast editors: Ahead of the parliamentary elections in Serbia on June 21st, we publish an interview with Aleksandar Matković. A shorter version of this interview was originally conducted by Dimitris Givisis for “Epohi.gr”. Questions 3, 6 and 7 were added by LeftEast editors. 1) What do you think the elections on June 21st will mean for the future of Serbia? I think that the current president – Aleksandar Vučić and the ruling party, the Progressive Party of Serbia – will win. There’s no doubt about that. They are too embedded in the domestic political life and international ..
Note from LeftEast editors: This is Part I of “Serbia’s Labor Law: a Counter-Proposal” reprinted from the author’s blog with his kind permission. I went to work in the morning and returned late in the evening. And on Sunday I had to go to work. I did not have any free time anymore. The owner of the company increased the volume of work but did not increase the number of us who are working. For every mistake, he took a part of our salaries, so I often did not get even the minimum (wage). He never paid out our hot meals, vacation and travel expenses, although we all signed that we had received them. We h ..
The following interview between Petar Protić and Aleksandar Matković originally appeared in Serbo-Croatian at Al Jazeera Balkans and concerns the recent labour laws that have been carried out almost simultaneously across several Balkan countries, each bearing similar tendencies: a weakening of workers’ rights and a strengthening of the rights of employers, the increase of precarious work and employers arbitrarily assigning work times as they see fit. These labour reforms form one of the central topics of the interview. Protić: Recently the Chinese company Hesteel Serbia, which operates the Smederevo ironwork ..
The following piece was originally published in Serbian at Masina.rs. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a free trade agreement that will soon be signed between the United States and the European Union. According to the website of the European Commission (EC), this agreement ‘removes custom duties’ and ‘barriers to investment’, which allegedly impede trade between the US and EU. However, as the US already has agreements on the abolition of custom duties with the majority of countries with which it trades, and as the very existence of the EU was founded on such agreements, the ..
The laws have been passed and the cards have been dealt: the new reform of the labour and pension laws which were so hastily proposed to parliament this January, have finally been adopted[i]. These “reforms” legitimize precarious work from the cradle to the grave: they do so, among else, by increasing and flexibilizing work hours, cutting down basic social welfare and extending the pension limit up to 65 years of working life. They will thus make drastic changes to the way all work will be done, paid and secured in the years to come. In Serbia, where the minimum wage is already the lowest in the world, this c ..
On December 20 2013, state sponsored hearings on the new labor law in Serbia were cancelled just as they were supposed to begin. The first public hearings were scheduled for Novi Sad, while subsequent hearings were to take place in Kragujevac and Belgrade. However, before the day was over, all the hearings had been called off. Serbia’s Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy (MLESP) first blamed the unions for ‘obstructing’ the proceedings, and then canceled all further hearings, arguing that: “All those interested may submit their proposals, suggestions and complaints on the Draft of the Law on t ..