I see labor organizing as a way out of this situation we are in – an interview with Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot’s excellence as a versatile guitarist, an improviser and a composer is well known among fans and music lovers. What has received less attention is his activism for labor rights of musicians, his view on and experience with labor organizing. After his exciting concert with The Young Philadelphians at the 33rd Belgrade Jazz Festival, Mašina had the opportunity to discuss with him a subject – he says – he gladly talks about: politics.

Progressive Law, Regressive System

The Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence makes provisions that could be considered progressive. While the public reception of this law was shaped by the right-wing misogynist narrative, its implementation is made questionable by the foreseen evaluation and assessment methods, as well as the systematic socio-economic inequality of women.

Narrow-mindedness of Dual Education

Draft Law on Dual Education faces criticism of professionals, trade unions and leftist organizations. This proposed regulation would in effect legalise child labour, make it extremely difficult for students of vocational schools to enroll in higher education institutions, cause additional deterioration of labour rights and generally worsen the position of workers in the labour market. Instead of being provided with quality education, students will be trained for the role of cheap and obedient labour force.

Serbian Countryside Struggling to Survive

The eligibility criteria for the public farm lease tender demonstrate a sincere desire of the government to please profit making interest of the large companies. Small independent farmers find it increasingly difficult to survive under the pressure put on by their competitors, which leads to further deterioration of the living conditions in the countryside.

Fifty shades of exploitation

Internships, traineeships and other programmes for acquiring work experience are increasingly becoming a precondition to getting a labour contract. Even though interns are performing roles of workers, in most cases they are not paid for them nor is their employment guaranteed after the programme has ended.