National activity in Serbia “Trade Unions Today – Challenges and Solutions”

A round table titled “Trade Unions Today – Challenges and Solutions” was held on 6-7 November 2017 in Vrnjačka Banja, with a financial support from the Swedish trade unions Union to Union and PERC-ITUC. Representatives of the two representative trade union centers in Serbia – Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia and TUC ‘Nezavisnost’ participated in this round table.

Ms. Enisa Salimović, PERC-ITUC Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe with the registered office in Sarajevo and Mr. Ljubisav Orbović, president of CATUS, extended their introductory speeches.

Keynote speakers for individual topics were Duško Vuković, Vice-president of CATUS, Slobodan Lalović, Head of CATUS Legal Department, Čedanka Andrić, Executive Secretary of TUC ‘Nezavisnost’ and Zoran Mihajlović, Secretary of CATUS.
Agenda of this meeting is enclosed with this Report, including the basic topic detailed in 4 related units – challenges with which the trade unions in Serbia face, changes in labor legislation, new forms of employment, and how to organize better and more efficiently the new members.

In course of two days, the representatives of both trade unions have analyzed the current events, and this analysis was dominated by the efforts aimed at urgent definition of the trade union strategies during the process of changing labor legislation under the conditions of severe international competition and neoliberal concept of a society, as well as how to stop the trend of decline in membership density and how to find new models and ways of enhancing the role of trade unions.
Attracting new members, particularly young members, was the topic considered by all the roundtable participants who had certain proposals for campaigns aimed at attracting the workers who are currently not organized in trade unions.

It was concluded that the internal discussions on this topic should continue. A special gratitude was extended to the Swedish trade unions LO TCO and PERC for their assistance in organizing this roundtable.