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2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 9 June 2010
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of, 9 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c4fec6ac.html [accessed 21 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Population: 2,000,000
Capital: Skopje
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

Labour law was amended in September but remains criticized by some trade union organisations. Overall, the legal climate is not conducive to unions, as strikes are difficult to organise and union activities can easily be terminated. Anti-union dismissals remain common practice.

Trade union rights in law

A number of excessive restrictions apply despite basic trade union guarantees. The Labor Relations Act was amended in September. However some trade union organisations deplored the lack of social dialogue during the process and considered that some new dispositions have negative impact on trade union rights.

Furthermore, collective bargaining is restricted to the union representing 20% of the employees at the level it wishes to bargain, except at the state level where the union must represent 10% of the total labour force.

The right to strike is circumscribed, as unions must specify the length of a strike in advance, and the participants can be dismissed and sued for damages if a court declares the strike illegal. The Labour Relations Law gives employers the right to suspend up to 2% of the participants of a strike throughout its duration if they exhibit violent or "non-democratic" behaviour, a provision that can be widely abused.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: The Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia has a status of "candidate country" with the European Union and NATO. However, its role on the international arena is hampered by a dispute over the country's name that is still pending in the International Court of Justice. The latest EU progress report once again stated that social dialogue in the country remains very weak.

Lack of social dialogue in the process of the labour law reform: The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia (FTUM) criticized the government for not having included them in the process of the labour law since its adoption in 2005.

Anti-union discrimination: The law prohibits anti-union discrimination. However, anti-union dismissals exist in practice, and dismissal cases usually take two to three years to resolve in court. Some companies have allegedly tried to interfere in trade union elections.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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