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Croatia: Round Table: Decent Work Decent Life

7 October 2008: In solidarity with workers around the globe, the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia, as a member of the International Trade Union Confederation and European Trade Union Confederation, has actively joined the campaign Decent Work Decent Life, within which through different activities it wants to contribute to the realization of the mentioned objectives.

Among other things, on Monday 6 October 2008, on the eve of the World Day for Decent Work, the UATUC, in cooperation with NHS trade union confederation, organized a round table “5 do 12 za dostojanstveni rad” (Last Call for Decent Work). The round table was a huge success and it had a wide media coverage with several national televisions and journalists from different newspapers and magazines. At the round table the results of the survey that was being carried out with regard to working conditions of workers in Croatia was presented. Head of Industrial Democracy Department, Marina Kasunić Peris presented the survey, with the focus on working conditions. A survey based on the questionnaire with a view of gathering data and analysis on the decent work in Croatia was carried out among workers as well as shop stewards in 5 chosen (largest) companies per each branch of activity where the UATUC affiliated unions are active. The survey also comprised the questionnaires gathered by the NHS trade union confederation. Round table also gave special focus to women workers, with the emphasis on the position of women on short-term contracts. The results of this survey were presented by the UATUC President Ana Knežević. Dijana Šobota, head of UATUC International Department and youth officer gave a presentation on the position of youth at the labour market in Croatia and in the SEE region as well as the project It’s time and youth Complaints Book. The opening and final remarks at the round table were given by UATUC and NHS presidents Ana Knežević and Krešimir Sever. The general conclusion was that the working conditions as well as the overall situation of the labour market in Croatia, of the two most vulnerable categories in particular – women and youth, are far from decent. It is only together that we will be strong in the defense of the dignity of workers and decent working conditions of all workers in Croatia. The current burning issues - amendments to the Act on Labour are a battlefield where we will have to show our unity and power fighting for decent work!
The youth sections of UATUC, NHS and HUS are actively working together on the Decent Work for Decent Life for youth. Today, on 7 October 2008 youth sections of these three confederations sent their demands and positions to the Croatian Prime Minister Mr Ivo Sanader. The Complaints Book that was a highlight of the campaign, as an ad hoc analysis of the position of youth and as a basis for the concerted trade union youth strategy, will however not be submitted to the Prime Minister, though it was first planned so, because of the huge interest expressed by young workers to contribute with their comments in the Complaints Book. We will continue with gathering signatures/comments until the International Labour Day 1 May 2009. The comments have however already confirmed the problems and theses we noticed as predominant when it comes to the position of youth and problems they are facing.
UATUC has also widely covered the event and the whole campaign in its newsletter Sindikalna akcija, as well as at the internet page www.sssh.hr.

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