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In March 2007, dissatisfied with the work of the bureaucratized leadership and the prolongation of the regular Congress of the then unified Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro (CTUM), the trade unions of education, University, Telecom, trade, banks, firefighters, the Clinical Center of Montenegro, KAP, “Zeljezara” and many others, launch an initiative to hold an extraordinary Congress.
On May 12, 2007, in the hall of Kino “Kultura” in Podgorica, in the presence of 400 delegates, the first part of the XIII Extraordinary Congress of CTUM was held, at which a 12-member Coordination Board was elected with a six-month mandate and the task to implement decentralization and debureaucratization of CTUM. Acting under the name CTUM Reform Block, the Coordination Board fails to exercise the right to continuity in the management of CTUM, because the line ministry refuses to recognize the result of the extraordinary Congress, and the Administrative Court does not decide on the lawsuit filed against the Ministry’s Decision. The leadership of the Reform Block, elected with a one-year mandate at the second part of the XIII Extraordinary Congress held on November 10, 2007, in Herceg Novi, in the presence of 205 delegates also fails to do that.
For that reason, in accordance with the granted mandate, the management prepares and on November 1, 2008 organizes the Founding Congress of the new national trade union central, which will operate under the name Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (UFTUM). The Founding Congress is attended by 211 delegates, who make the decision to establish the UFTUM as a modern trade union central with a decentralized organizational structure, established in branch unions. However, even under the new name, we have been the target of false accusations, labeling and pressure, denied social dialogue with the Government and social partners. All this with the intention of thwarting the UFTUM in its establishment or to remain on the margins of social events. It was difficult, both for the management and our membership, to withstand all those pressures and false labels.
Such a situation continued until May 2010, when we drafted the Law on Trade Union Representativeness and when, by gaining representativeness at the national level, we gained institutional recognition and inclusion in social dialogue. Therefore, today, with dignity and pride, we can say that the name Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro has become a brand and a synonym for an authentic, honest and uncompromising fight for workers’ rights. An increasing number of employees recognize the UFTUM as its national union headquarters. It consists of 14 branch and three craft unions, which through their active work, most often with the logistics provided by the UFTUM, have achieved numerous and significant results for their membership.
UFTUM presented itself equally successfully on the international trade union scene, where it became a respected partner in numerous projects. UFTUM is a full member of two key international trade union organizations: the European Trade Union Confederation and the International Trade Union Confederation, as well as a member and constituent of the Regional Trade Union Council “Solidarity” which brings together representative trade unions from the former Yugoslavia.
Our mission is to make Montenegro a state of social justice and social welfare for all its citizens.