Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2018, 16:10 GMT

2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Montenegro

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 - Montenegro, 9 June 2010, available at: [accessed 17 January 2018]
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: 624,000
Capital: Podgorica
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

Union activities are primarily hampered by restrictive provisions on the right to strike, and workers who organised strikes suffered intimidation by their employers.

Trade union rights in law

Although the Labour Code provides for basic trade union rights, it contains excessive restrictions. The 2007 Constitution and 2008 Labour Law recognise the right to form and join trade unions, and the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees grants that right to said categories of workers. Collective bargaining is hampered by the fact that only the most representative unions, that is unions with the largest membership, can be parties to collective agreements. Furthermore, the law stipulates that the right to strike may be limited for persons employed in state bodies and public service on grounds of protecting the public interest. A minimum service must also be established in a number of services following consultations with the relevant trade union. Albeit the 2005 Law on Strikes improved the situation, the employer can still decide on the minimum service unilaterally if negotiations with the union fail.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: Measures were taken to tackle the impact of the economic crisis through social dialogue, including the establishment of a special working group for monitoring such crises. Wage arrears and factory closures led to large-scale strikes.

Anti-union discrimination: Dismissals, demotions and transfers of trade union activists are not uncommon. The 2008 Labour Law did not help the situation by introducing flexible rules on fixed-term contracts. Workers are also increasingly offered the possibility of converting their open-ended contracts into temporary jobs. The resulting job insecurity is hampering organising.

Employers threatened to sue strikers: The Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro (SSCG) reports that the right to strike is often not respected. When the trade union at Mikro, in Bijelo Polje, organised a strike to protest against unpaid salaries and allowances – in full compliance with the national procedures – the employer threatened to sue the union for EUR 100,000 in damages. A similar situation led to a strike by the local branch of the construction workers' union at Prvoborac – Kamen i Beton, in Herzig Novi. Following the strike, the management gave the local trade union leader an official warning.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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