The main postal distributive centres in Serbia, Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš are currently blocked. Self-organised workers stopped the working process. Their main demands are the improvement of their material conditions and employing new workers which would help ease the existing work overload.
A few dozen workers of Post Serbia gathered tonight in front of the main postal distributive centre in Zemun. According to some of them, the shutdown is total, and they are ready to continue with the blockage and stay firmly behind their demands.
The parcels and letters are pilling up in the main distributive centre, through which, according to the employees, 90% of all shipments in Serbia pass, and areprevented from passing into further distribution.
The drivers’ salaries are roughly 35 000 Dinars(297 Euros), and the drivers not only drive, but have to load and unload the packages, work late hours and night shifts… Few are ready to take up such a position, which is why ever more people are leaving the firm and the country as well. Basically, the main demand is that the salaries be raised to at least match the national average.
This is how Vlado Samardžija, a representative of the Nezavisnost trade union in this working unit, explained the reasons for the strike for Mašina.
A lack of employees also represents a big problem. Prohibition of employment in the public sector applies to Post Serbia, people are retiring, and few are motivated to stay in the firm due to the low salaries, fixed-term contracts and contract of performing temporary and periodical jobs. At the same time, the workload increased and raised pressure on employees, concludes Samardžija.
Colleagues from Zrenjanin came to express support to the postal workers in front of the Main distributive centre in Zemun. As they say, they have also completely stopped mail delivery, as have the postal workers in a few other cities in Serbia, including Novi Sad and Niš. They hope that the Post Serbia counter clerks will also join the strike, thus blocking not only the mail delivery, but the overall functioning of the post offices.
The newly expressed dissatisfaction of the postal workers culminated exactly one year after the previous strike and the protest which was jointly organised by several Post Serbia trade unions. As it seems, some workers are disappointed with the role of trade unions in Post Serbia and their negotiations with the employer and the state, but there are also those who expect the trade unions to step in.
If some of the deliveries you have been expecting are in delay, have in mind that this is caused by the postal workers’ struggle for improvement of their working and living conditions. Support them in it.
Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić
This article was originally published in Serbian on Mar 27, 2019.