UNASM newsletter Y E A R
CONTENT: *UNASM, KSS and SSM signed a memorandum *Temporary Employment Agency “Partner” * Interview with the president of SO of NSMO , Mr. Risto Pejovski *Seminar: Collective bargaining *Seminar: Negotiation and lobbying *Women’s questions are trade union questions as well!”
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F E B R U A R Y — M A R C H
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UNASM, KSS AND SSM SIGNED A COOPERATION On the 22th of February 2011 in the “Arka” Hotel in Skopje, the three trade union confederations, the Union of Independent and Autonomous Trade Unions of Macedonia, the Free Trade Unions Confederation and the Union of Trade Unions of Macedonia signed a “Trade Union Cooperation Memorandum”. This memorandum obliges these confederations to act jointly regarding the decision-making process for all significant questions referring to trade union and social life in the Republic of Macedonia.
“We made a lot of effort to achieve this mutual cooperation. I hope that this document will not be only a declaration, but we will try to make it a basis for implementation of what established today with the document itself. I also hope that with this close cooperation we will regain the trust of the members and of the workers” – stated Slobodan Antovski, president of the Union of Independent and Autonomous Trade Unions of Macedonia. - “The document on which we put our signatures for cooperation marks a new era in the trade union movement in the Republic of Macedonia. This is a serious action of introducing responsibility in the trade union situation in the country and a great contribution to the regulation of the social situation in the country. Our idea is to mutually represent the employees’ interests in front of the social partners” –highlighted the SSM’s president, Zivko Mitrevski, at the event. – “The unity refers to the approach towards Government, institutions and employers and it implies improvement of the collective bargaining. I want to point out that this accord of the three confederations is not of a closed type, but it is open to all other trade union organizations, as well as to the workers who are not organized in trade unions”- added Mitrevski.
The president of the Free Trade Union Confederation, Rasko Mishkoski said that the idea of having this kind of event and cooperation as an outcome a year ago was unimaginable.- “ Even though the World and the European trade union confederations and the International Labour Organization made great efforts to achieve something like this in our country, the trade unions in Macedonia have always had different opinions on the same issues. But, the past year, a process begun for bringing the trade unions closer and the results immediately emerged. We are ready to fight for the workers’ rights regardless of which trade union they are members of” – said Mishkoski. At this solemn event, Petar Mihalcik and Enisa Selimovic, members of “PAG” and representatives of the World Trade Union Confederation, were present, as well as Emil Krstanoski, representative of the International Labour Organization. Today’s event is a crown of the ITUC’s, ETUC’s and ILO’s efforts they have been making the past two years.
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT AGENCY “PARTNER”
“We offer quick and secure solution for all those who are in need of temporary employment regardless the period for which their engagement is needed”.
Temporary employment agency “Partner” is directed only towards hiring temporary works and it is very flexible with the clients, as well as with workers, always trying to maintain the level needed for highquality performance, experience and knowledge. The Agency was established with previous harmonization and reorganization of the Youth association “Partner” according Article 22 of the Act on Temporary Employment Agencies. 12.05.2010 the temporary employment agency “Partner” obtained its type A permit, registration number 1, archive number 08-2818/. During its twenty years of work, the temporary employment agency “Partner” has established business cooperation with all significant institutions and enterprises in the Republic of Macedonia. The Agency is member of EUROCIETT (European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies), as well as of the National federation of Temporary Employment Agencies of Macedonia, the Chamber of commerce of Macedonia and the Union of Chambers of commerce. The temporary employment agency “Partner” has obtained a certificate for quality management ISO 9001:2008. The Agency offers complete service defined by the Law on labour area records (Gazette of RM 16/2004). For its services, the Agency charges commission depending on the number of hired workers and how long their engagement will last. If the number of hired temporary workers in continuous in a period of one month or longer, with full fund of working hours, the commission amount is: -for 30 hired workers or less 10% of gross salary -up to 40 (forty) hired workers 9% of gross salary -up to 50 (fifty) hired workers 8% of gross salary -over 50 (fifty) hired workers 7% of gross salary The temporary employment agency “Partner” is a recorded VAT payer and it calculates 18% VAT to the commission. Director of the temporary employment agency “Partner” is Mr. Rade NENADIC.
Interview with the President of the Trade union organization of the Independent trade union of the personnel responsible for mechanics within UNASM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC ENTERPISE ”MACEDONIAN RAILWAYS” - JOINT STOCK COMPANY FOR TRANSPORT FORMS ITS OWN TRADE UNION ORGANIZATION IN ORDER TO OBTAIN GREATE REPRESENTATIVENESS -NEW WAY TO A DEAD END-
The president of the trade union organization of the Independent trade union of personnel responsible for mechanics, Mr. Risto Pejovski is employed in the public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” – joint stock company Transport Skopje, Macedonia. As a trade unionist he shows great results in the promotion and advance of workers’ rights in the rail transport. He is the main initiator of more strikes for workers’ rights and advocate for legal Mr. Pejovski, do the members of your trade union organization attend educative trainings or seminars for workers’ rights promotion? YES, our members attend different kind of training in the area of labour. A training like that took place few days ago in the congress hall in Skopje fair and representatives of the Dutch trade union, CNV Internationaal, were also part of this event. They spoke about the methodology for reaching a collective agreement and about the ways how negotiations can be performed. But, through discussions and exchange of information we came to a conclusion that we need more seminars of this kind to be organized on an employers’ level so that they can feel the spirit of trade unionists. Educating trade union workers on these subjects is not enough because they do not have a proper interlocutor for solving the problems they face with their employers. I say this because in the discussions I faced the fact that, generally, we have problem with the employers’ leadership potential, i.e. board of directors, a term that is constantly used today, even though I do not want to use this term because in my working area there are no individuals that deserve the epithet manager or director. As a trade union organization, how would you describe your relationship with the public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” –joint stock company Transport? Do you have regular communication with the board of directors or the managers of the company? The communication with the managers is not satisfactory, and for more than 4-5 months we do not have any contact with the director general of Macedonian Railways joint stock company Transport, Mr. Oliver Derkoski with whom we needed to talk about security of the rail transport, the collective agreement, systematization and wage increase. But, the board of directors ignores us to that level that we had to inform the Minister of transport and communications, Mr. Mile Janakieski, about this problem. We did that on January 27 2011, but we still do not have response.
What can you tell us about the security in the rail transport in the Republic of Macedonia? Is the public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” joint stock company Transport facing any problems? The security in the rail transport is in a very bad condition. You know that in the last year there were two great rail accidents in which, fortunately, there were no victims. But, when I pointed out the problems, I was immediately removed from work with the tendency to be laid off. But, this problems should are of common interest of the employer and of the worker, and surprisingly they are still present, absolutely nothing has been done to solve them. Is it correct that the general director of public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” joint stock company Transport forms a trade union organization? What is the role of the trade union in the improvement of workers’ rights?
“ The board of directors do not pay enough attention to the workers’ problems”
“The managerial rolling-stock was renewed for an amount of 250 000 euro” - says Pejovsi
„There is nepotism in the enterprise“
Currently, there are six trade union organizations that function in joint stock company Transport the joint stock company Transport and four of them signed a cooperation memorandum, i.e. the Trade union of workers in the branch for train towing, Trade union of the railway workers, Independent trade union of workers responsible for mechanics and the Autonomous trade union of workers responsible for mechanics. But, I would like to point out that the general director of the public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” joint stock company Transport, Mr. Oliver Derkoski, formed a trade union in order to solve the problems in his own way. The president of this trade union is one of the supply managers in the joint stock company Transport and the membership is comprised of the workers in joint stock company Transport, employed after December 27 2010. There are 160 members in this trade union and the second part of the members comprises of those who are supporters of the political party the director is part, and finally the third part of the members encloses philologically unstable people who are threatened and blackmailed in order to become members. The intention of the director is to attain number of 300 members. The intention of Mr. Derkoski is to achieve representativeness on an enterprise level and to be able to sign the collective agreement, but at the workers’ damage. I told this to the board of directors of joint stock company Transport at the members gathering organized by the four trade unions on January 24 2011. Mr. Pejovski, what happens with the property of public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” joint stock company Transport? Is there nepotism in the joint stock company Transport? During the eight months period, while Mr. Pejovski is director certain entities were detached from the enterprise and given to television companies for banal amounts, and then the managerial rolling-stock was renewed for an amount of 250 000 euros, due to lack of stuff in the protection service in the public enterprise “Macedonian Railways” joint stock company Transport there is an increased criminal rate. The nepotism is noticeable because the general director employs his own relatives and members of the family, and the director for cargo transport, of course is one of those who do not notice this. What is your personal opinion on the improvement of the communication between your trade union and the joint stock company Transport? I am afraid that there is a real possibility to radicalize the discontent, even though, personally, I do not want that to happen because in my opinion trade union discovers and points out the problems, i.e. trade union is one more service of the employer. But, the general director will bear the consequences and is responsible for any negative outcome of this situation. Mr. Pekovski, thank you for the interview and we wish you luck in future and fruitful work at professional level ,as well as in the promotion of workers’ rights. Thank you.
SEMINAR ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE On February 21 and 22, in Skopje, in “Arka” Hotel the final seminar took place with the theme “ The role of the sectoral collective bargaining in strengthening the social dialogue – structure and essential content of the sectoral collective agreements”. The seminar was organized by the Austrian development agency (Austrian Development Cooperation) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). This meeting is part of the project “Consolidation of the legal and institutional bases of the social dialogue in the countries of the Western Balkans and Moldova”. The main aim of the seminar was strengthening the bipartite social dialogue, to spread knowledge of the values, aims and organizing proper forms of collective bargaining. Other objectives include improvement of the cooperation between the three Macedonian trade union confederations- the Union of Trade unions of Macedonia (SSM), the Confederation of Free Trade Unions (KSS) and the Union of Independent and Autonomous Trade Unions of Macedonia (UNASM). Representatives of these trade union confederations participated at the seminar. Speakers at the seminar were Peter Mihalcik and Enisa Selimovic, members of PAG. Peter Mihalcik talked about “Bipartite social dialogue- its values, aims and institutions” and about “Collective agreements- core of the social dialogue”. He also talked about the role of trade unions in democracy, the increase the visibility of trade unions and trade union reforms. Enisa Selimovic elaborated the following themes: “Issues connected with genders in collective bargaining and collective agreements”. Emil Krstanovski also participated at the seminar as representative of the Ministry of Labour and social policy. Employers’ representatives were also present at the seminar, as well as representatives of the Government and of the World and European trade union confederation (ITUC-ETUC-PERC). At the seminar a panel discussion was opened on the new possibilities in collective bargaining, i.e. adoption of trade union cooperation memorandum between SSM, KSS and UNASM.
Seminar on NEGOTIATION AND LOBBYING On February 5 2011 a seminar took place on: “Negotiations and Lobbying”, organized by UNASM. Representatives of all regional offices of UNASM (Prilep, Delchevo, Skopje, Ohrid and Struga) attended the seminar, as well as members from Gotivar, Sveti Nikole. Representatives from the Independent trade union of personnel responsible for mechanics from the public enterprise Macedonian Railways JSC Transport were present. The representatives of CNV Internationaal, Mr. Kampherbeek Hendrik and Mr. Katerberg Thie were speakers of the seminar. At the seminar it was highlighted that through negotiations one can get whatever one wants from the others. It is a communication with which an agreement can be reached when both sides have common, as well as separate interests. Negotiations are actually the process through which the different views of the stakeholders should get closer. An agreement, a signed collective agreement, sail, unification or finding mutual interests should be one of the negotiations results. Negotiation as a skill is essential for every successful manager. In all the functions performed by the manager (planning, organizing, observing and leadership) negotiation skills are essential. Negotiations are especially significant in the decision making process.
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WOMEN’S QUESTIONS ARE TRADE UNION QUESTIONS AS WELL! Solidarity makes us stronger! -Woman representation in the collective bargaining Initiatives for equal rights of women in the civil society appeared for the first time in the 18th century There were more reasons that caused this. Firstly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights led to situation where there were demands for equal rights for women in countries such as France and the United States. Civil society did not let women to be direct competitors in the production process. They were excluded from lot of economic, political and other private decisions. Women had limited education opportunities; they did not have the right to manage their property nor sign contracts. Furthermore, they did not have the right to obtain a job without their husband’s consent. Obviously, they were discriminated concerning the right of divorce and the right to taking care of the children. At the same time, a possibility was opened for workers to be hired and exploited for extremely low salaries. This situation was a good reason for women to start to ask openly equal rights and opportunities. In Macedonia, there are still some unjustified differences between men and women in the area of economy and other areas as well, especially in the minority and marginalized communities. Still, we can mention the factors that influence on the success or failure referring to the gender issues in the trade union organizations. Factors that should come from trade unions are: whether the voice of women is heard, whether women are present in the decision making bodies, inclusion of women in the collective bargaining, to be members of the supervisory and executive bodies, every woman should be promoted and supported in her work, to organize activities in the trade unions connected to women’s rights which at the same time can be a good strategy for attracting new members. Equality between men and women is a basic right of the EU common value, but at the same time it is an essential condition for attaining growth, employment and social cohesion.