Mašina English Blog

Workers Organizing in the Digital Age – Outlooks for the (near) future

The increased digitalization of labor presents a whole new set of challenges from the legislative and labor organizing perspective. Companies use sophisticated software to monitor their employees, but workers can also utilize software in their struggle for labor rights and a more equitable economy.

Linglong Tire in Serbia: pollution in accordance with feng shui

Europe’s automobile manufacturers will be receiving their tires from Zrenjanin via the new Silk Road. Meanwhile, the Republic of Serbia will pay for its place in the Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative  by providing subsidies, natural resources and by adjusting its legislation to the needs of corporations.

Who has a problem with artists?

During the past weeks we have witnessed a continuity of possibly thoroughly premeditated attacks on artists in Serbia, provoked not exclusively by artwork, but also by the artists’ efforts to break the deadlock of problems concerning their social and labour status.

Workers’ struggle during the pandemic

Striking similarities were revealed among ex-Yugoslav republics during this pandemic: the burden of the crisis was placed on the workers, who, although fragmented, organized resistance all across their shared former homeland, while at the same time facing the double threat of infection and possible termination.

Rio Tinto in Serbia: privatization of natural resources, obstruction of sustainable development

A third protest was held near Loznica city against a lithium mine that the British-Australian company Rio Tinto intends to open in Jadar Basin in Western Serbia. Hundreds of citizens protested on October 27 in Brezjak settlement, in front of the branch office of the second largest mining corporation in the world, which plans to exploit world-class deposits of lithium ore – and, according to experts and activists, destroy everything around it. Their concern is heightened by the company’s unwillingness to inform the public about the project and negotiate its details with the local community, as well as by the examples of Rio Tinto’s destructive actions across the planet.

The breakdown of labour rights in Serbia during the state of emergency

An analysis conducted by the FCD and the OHCHR showed that the state of labour rights in Serbia  drastically deteriorated during the recent state of emergency declared due to the COVID-19 epidemic. What needs to change so that this scenario doesn’t happen again?

Only the state has the right to destroy and threaten? The “war by statements” and a continued pressure on cultural and artistic institutions

The events related to the violent interruption of the “Boys” (Momci) group exhibition, which was held in “Stara Kapetanija” gallery during the weekend as a part of the “New Age” festival, gained a new twist when the Ministry of Culture and Information published a statement in which it condemned violence against the exhibition, but also the exhibition itself. This prompted public reactions of a number of professional associations and cultural institutions, and a protest rally in support of the “Boys” group and the Stara Kapetanija.

Sarah Leonard: Developing sharp, well-informed leftists is as important a role for magazines as publishing left ideas

Sarah Leonard is a journalist and editor of several left-leaning magazines and online magazines, which are becoming more and more common in the United States. Together with Bhaskar Sunkara, she edited a collection of essays entitled: “The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century”. We met Sarah in Belgrade last year on her journey through Southeast Europe, and we renewed the conversation during the past few months marked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Autonomous trade union opposes the privatization of Pharmacy “Belgrade”

The Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Belgrade opposes the privatization of the Pharmacy “Belgrade”. The trade union believes that this pharmacy institution, whose founder is the city of Belgrade, must remain a part of the public health system and a guarantee of adequate supply of medicines to the citizens.

In Search Of a Base: The Democratic Party and the US Election

Trump’s victory in the 2016 elections accelerated the destabilization of the party system in the United States. In practice, the Democrats split into three groups, each with its own vision for rebuilding the party base. With Biden’s candidacy, the future of the Democrats remains uncertain, as do the electoral possibilities of the American left within the given framework of electoral policy.

Party of the Radical Left founded

The Radical Left Party (Partija radikalne levice, PRL) was formed by transforming the Social Democratic Union, whose members adopted the new political Programme, the Declaration of Workers’ Rights, as well as the necessary statutory changes, at the 12th regular congress. According to the programme, the PRL will “fight for a socialist society based on equality, solidarity, freedom, democracy, internationalism, anti-imperialism and anti-fascism, a society in which people will be more important than profit”.

Construction workers from India are returning home thanks to international trade unions ties

The construction workers from India who started a strike in the middle of the previous week, demanding their overdue wages and to be allowed to return home, will be able to travel back starting this week, Mašina found out. This is not the first time that workers from India are dissatisfied with working conditions in Serbia, and the whole case raised questions regarding the necessity of international cooperation, which we discussed with representatives of the trade unions from Serbia and India.