Seven days into the strike in post Serbia and the complete shutdown in several of its units, negotiations were started between the management and the self-organised workers’ negotiating team. Given that none of the demands have been accepted, the strike will continue.
We can’t hope for our salaries to rise.
This is how a member of the workers’ negotiating team, who wished to stay anonymous, described the meeting with the management.
Mirjana Predojević, the chief executive of the public company, was present at the meeting, which took place Friday evening in the Main Postal Center (MPC) in Zemun, where the nucleus of the strike is.
The CEO, whose replacement was demanded a year ago in a strike lead by trade unions, hasn’t met a any of the striking workers’ demands, according to our interviewee.
The management offered the workers a portion of the profit the company earned in the last two years. This offer would have to be approved by the Government, who would have to meet to discuss it no sooner than Easter.
The workers’ negotiating team presented the management’s offer to their colleagues gathered in front of the GPC.
The gathered workers refused it on the account that this is something that the company owes them anyway, hence it cannot replace the requested salary rise, according to our interviewee.
The strikers experience rising pressure
The CEO has assured the negotiating team that “the issued warnings will go no further, and that no sanctions will be applied”. However, according to our informer, the strikers experience rising pressure:
The directors of the working units, the post office managers, even the trade union representatives intimidate the workers with threats of lay-offs, scare them off taking part in the protest activities, falsely convince them that they are not allowed to stop the working process on their own, and so on.
Another employee of Post Serbia, who also wished to remain anonymous, told Mašina’s journalists that the “pressure is unimaginable”.
He explained that the management has been sending warrants to all post offices in Belgrade, and even other cities, to send their temps to MPC Zemun, while the counter workers in Zrenjanin, who have joined the shutdown, have received threats.
The representative of the negotiating team we talked with was adamant, despite the pressures:
The workers have decided to continue the struggle for their rights. We decide collectively, no one is alone in this.
Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić
This article was originally published in Serbian on Mar 30, 2019.