Post of Serbia’s workers demand fairer wage distribution

Photo: Zorica Jovanovic‎ / Udruzenje radnika “Pošte” Srbije – Goran Klještan BOSKE / Facebook

A large number of Post of Serbia workers continue the work stoppage they started two days ago. The reason for dissatisfaction are low salaries and the management’s wage increase proposal, which many workers deem unfair. After the main postal center in Zemun was blocked on Monday night, a series of stoppages in postal units in many cities across Serbia followed. Delivery workers and drivers are most likely to suspend work, while counter clerks joined at different locations.

The workers on these jobs are the core of the postal system and make up the largest number of postal employees, so any interruption of work in these jobs puts pressure on the entire postal system in the country.

On the occasion of this repeated strike in the Post of Serbia, government representatives scheduled a meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposals to increase wages in this public company with the leadership of the Post of Serbia and workers’ representatives.

According to the Post of Serbia’s workers’ latest findings, the government approved a 10% increase in the wage bill for this company. Post of Serbia plans to acquire the additional sum for these needs by increasing the prices of services, which was already done during August this year.

The management has proposed a linear model of pay increase by 10% for all employees.

Nemanja Mitrović, president of the Solidarity trade union in the Post of Serbia, who took part in formulating the workers’ proposal for the pay increase, commented on the management’s offer for Mašina:

In our view, this is a very shameful proposition. It doesn’t cover earnings for some 500 jobs. They said it was linear and they were lying from the start. For example, they presented a higher current salary for a postman than it actually is. They presented an increase of 8.83%, that is, an increase of 3,600 dinars (31 €) on top of an unrealistically calculated salary for that position. A sector manager who already earns a fine salary of 119,000 dinars (113 €), for our living standard, would receive an increase of 9.62%, or more than 18,000 dinars (153 €).

The workers’ negotiating team suggested that the wages be raised by a higher percentage for those with the lowest salaries. In other words, for the most vulnerable ones. That way the delivery workers, who represent the core of the post office and number more than 3,700, would receive a 30% increase, i.e. their final salary would be about 50,000 dinars (425 €). Other workers’ salaries would also rise according to the same model, in the range of 5 to 30%, depending on the amount of their current earnings, while only the highest salaries, exceeding 110,000 dinars (936 €), would not increase.

Our idea is that the most vulnerable people receive the highest increase. These are actually the people who contribute the most to the company’s business success that the management boasts about. Post of Serbia isn’t a successful company because it has a good director, but because postmen and counter clerks and others in the system do their jobs well, regardless of all the difficulties. The company is successful thanks to those people whom they wanted to give the least again, Mitrović told Mašina.

M.M.

Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić

This article was originally published in Serbian on Dec 5, 2019.

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