The International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) has sent a letter of support for the Independent Trade Union of the Police of Montenegro and President Igor Rmandić, to the Government of Montenegro, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Police Administration, in which it expresses its deepest concern because of anti-union discrimination and reminds of the necessity of complying with conventions that protect union rights and freedoms, which Montenegro ratified, at the same time urging for compliance of international and domestic legislation and appealing for inclusion in a constructive social dialogue with the trade union.
The ITUC also published the mentioned letter of support on its website: https://www.ituc-csi.org/Actions-against-the-Independent-Trade-Union-of-Police-of-Montenegro
Below is a full text of the letter of support.
Actions against the Independent Trade Union of the Police of Montenegro
Dear Prime Minister,
On behalf of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) that represents over 200 million workers in 168 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates, including in Montenegro, we are addressing you because of the anti-union discrimination, pressure and intimidation against the Independent Trade Union of the Police of Montenegro (NSPCG), which have been going on for a long time.
Most recently, according to the information we have received from our affiliate, the Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (UFTUM), the president of the NSPCG, Mr. Igor Rmandić, received an assignment of transfer to another place of work, 250 km away from the place where he conscientiously, responsibly. and professionally performed his service for 27 years. This reassignment decision does not contain any justification for transfer from the Municipality of Herceg Novi to the Municipality of Bijelo Polje.
Mr. Igor Rmandić is a President of Police Trade Union, an UFTUM affiliate registered in accordance with the law on September 20, 2022. In this capacity he has been leading trade union actions to protect the rights and to promote interests of police staff members. It is not the first time that we receive information about discriminatory actions against the union and its representatives.
We express our deepest concerns that this latest development is part of the discriminatory and retaliation against Mr. Rmandic for his trade union activities.
We recall that the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) has indicated that protection of trade union officials against the prejudicial use of transfers is desirable in order to enable them to perform their trade union duties in full independence and to give effect to the fundamental principle that workers’ organizations shall have the right to elect their representatives in full freedom.
We fully support our affiliates and all the unions that fight for fundamental freedoms and rights, enshrined in the ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organize) and 98 (Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining) that Montenegro ratified, as well as the European Social Charter and the EU acquis that, as a candidate country for the EU membership , it committed to implement. Montenegro has ratified all the key conventions of the International Labor Organization, and as a candidate for full membership in the European Union, it harmonizes its legislation with the legislation of the European Union, which fosters the freedom of trade union organization and social dialogue. The Labor Law of Montenegro also provides for the protection of the authorized representative of the trade union against discrimination and harassment due to trade union activity and activism. Montenegro also ratified ILO Convention No. 135 on the protection of workers’ representatives.
We urge you to make sure your country respects its international and national legislation, to take all necessary steps to immediately stop any hostile actions against TU NSPCG and discrimination of its leaders taken by the Police Administration of Montenegro and to engage in constructive dialogue and consultation with the union concerning working conditions of its members including any transfers that affect trade union officials.
Acting Genera secretary,