Solidarity Charter of Trade Unions and Associations for Protection of Workers` Rights
“…we will have dissolved the dilemma whether to celebrate or raise our voice for more rights, higher salaries, better working conditions… “
Quite dismayed by the existing, highly negative trends in the labor legislation, including the openly anti-union activities which aggravate the working conditions of all workers and union members in all sectors in Macedonia, and firmly believing that for things to start moving in the right direction it is necessary to reestablish the mutual cooperation between the trade unions in Macedonia based on the principles of union solidarity, the trade unions: the Trade Union of Workers in the Administration, Judiciary and Civil Society Organizations (UPOZ), the Independent Trade Union of Clinical Centers (SSKC), the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), the Trade Union of the Macedonia Diplomatic Service (SMDS) and the Movement for Social Justice “LENKA” have agreed to adopt this CHARTER
FOR SOLIDARITY OF THE TRADE UNIONS AND ALL SUPPORTERS OF WORKERS IN MACEDONIA
- The Solidarity Charter is an expression of the efforts of trade unions in Macedonia and the supporters of working people to stand together against the increasingly negative trends of weakening and quashing the existing workers` rights, like restricting the right to participation of workers/trade unions in the management boards of companies/institutions, interfering with the work and the activities of union organizations, violating fixed-term employment contracts, “harmonizing” some trade unions` agendas with those of certain political parties instead of those concerned with workers` needs and demands, limiting the possibility of finding and realizing the right to a decent job.
- The Signatories to the Solidarity Charter are deeply concerned about the increasing absence of not only care for the workers, but also the open degradation of the individual integrity and values of every worker. It does not only refer to the persecution of certain unwanted persons, but rather to the general treatment of workers as “second class citizens”, which leads to lowering the quality of work and services in all sectors – an alarming trend for a complete, systemic degradation of all economic and non-economic areas.
- The Signatories to the Charter are especially alarmed by the disintegration of the legal system which is a precondition for functional operation of every democratic society. The inhumane policy towards the majority of workers both in the public and in the private sector, through a series of highly unfounded disciplinary procedures, has culminated in absurd criminal proceedings, which is undermining not only the judicial, but the entire legal system of the Republic of Macedonia. This blatant disregard of the clear legal norms by which employers (in the public and private sector alike) are obligated to act, is not only not opposed to by the Macedonian judiciary, but quite the opposite: courts condone such violations of the right and bring decisions which limit the constitutional right to strike.
- We are opposed to the general practice of adopting legal or systemic solutions in labor law behind the backs of all stakeholders without any actual consultation with those to whom those changes refer to. Thus, ratification of the more significant and binding Conventions of the International Labor Organization serves only as a smoke screen.
- The Signatories to the Charter believe that it is necessary and imminent for the joint fight against the deterioration of working conditions and weakening of trade unions to be implemented in a way appropriate to each individual case: through joint campaigns; cautionary, solidarity and other strikes; joint press conferences and other forms of union mechanisms which can be used for realization of improved workers` rights.
- The Signatories will react in situations where workers` rights are violated regardless of the sector they come from and will simultaneously look for the best possible ways to solve the problems of their members by comparing and implementing existing collective agreements and establishing minimum conditions/requests which need to be contained therein, by filing complaints against legal entities which condone work without collective agreements or any other form of legislation, including other cases which call for joint action in order to reinstate the dignity of Macedonian workers.
- The Coordination body comprised of the Signatories to the Solidarity Charter will keep the public, the institutions and all trade unions in Macedonia informed through the public media in order to raise the awareness about the above issues and gain maximum support for their activities.
- The Signatories signed the Charter in the evening before the day that celebrates the rights of workers all over the world- 1st May – the International Labor Day. Thereby, in a symbolic way, we want to show that our fight is for and on behalf of workers and that by next year we will have dissolved the dilemma whether to celebrate or raise our voice for more rights, bigger salaries, better working conditions… This is the only way to restore the significance of May Day as the day that celebrates workers throughout the world united by mutual solidarity as a symbol of eternal insubordination and labor rights.
The text of the Charter will be delivered to all trade unions and supporters of workers throughout Macedonia which have similar ideas and ideals and we invite them all to join this initiative.