#Protest #AluminiumPlant(Kap) #Workers #Strike
The strike of former workers of the Aluminium Plant (KAP) has failed. Severance pay for the workers will not be paid because the government decided on Thursday to comply with its conclusions from April. It requires the Parliament to take a position on the conclusions, because they have already been forwarded to MPs. The workers told CDM that therefore they would not give up the protests and required MPs to give them a guarantee that they would get the severance pay. Otherwise, they will block traffic on Smokovac.
Since the government maintained its position announced on 28 April that Parliament’s legislative solution on paying severance pays to KAP workers was not applicable and that it was discriminatory, former employees of KAP chose a new location to protest. They will no longer gather in the centre of the city, which could bring joy to the citizens of Podgorica, but will be the problem for everyone who wants to enter the capital city or go to the north of it.
“For the umpteenth time, the government has showed lack of seriousness when we are concerned. This is a precedent of arbitrariness, a clear violation of the Constitution and the law. We will gather in front of the Parliament on Friday at 9am and there we will make the decision to call on the Parliament caucuses. For Monday, we plan to gather on Smokovac and to tell them – provide a guarantee that these laws will be implemented in order for us not to go to Smokovac”, the workers representative Nikola Rakovic told CDM.
According to the government, the law on settlement of debts to workers of KAP who are entitled to pensions due to the bankruptcy of the company is not applicable because it is not precise in terminology, particularly when it comes to calculation of certain part of severance payments, as well as issues of social welfare programme (whether the legal provision refers to the currently valid social welfare programme or the social programme signed in 2009).
In addition, the government argues that the law is discriminatory and believe that, in order to establish the principles of justice, the legal solution should treat all persons in Montenegro who have acquired the right to early retirement, such as workers of FEP, Niksic-based Bauxite Mines, Montavar Metalac company, Prerada, Kovacnica, Adriatic Shipyard Bijela, Kosuta Cetinje, employees in the public administration (retired from the police)… Implementing the law only for the KAP workers would cause justified revolt of former workers of these companies, the government said.
Also, the government stated that the adoption of this law, without an analysis of the fiscal impact, brought the sustainability of public finances into question.
The government recommends that the Parliament withdraws the proposal which brings a large number of workers who have exercised these rights for several years in an unequal position or, if the MPs still persist in the decision (which is assessed by the Government as unprincipled and controversial in terms of fiscal sustainability), that the Parliament provides applying this right to workers who are in the same status (workers of the Bauxite Mines, FEP, Montavar Metalac, Prerada, Kovacnica) within the relevant budget.
The government said that there was €5m in the budget and asked the Parliament to explain how the money should be allocated.
Source: Cafe Del Montenegro