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Solidarity statement – 25 November 2012
Public Services International supports
the Croatian national strike on 29 November
On 29 November, the Croatian Trade Union of Nurses and Medical Technicians (HSSMS-MT), an affiliate of the global union federation Public Services International, is joining other Croatian unions in a general strike. This national day of action has been called in reaction to the government unilaterally changing collective agreements and its refusal to engage in social dialogue.
The new state budget proposed by the Croatian government includes major cuts in the public sector which will lead to job losses and a deterioration of public services. Public Services International believes that it is vital to invest in strong health, education and other public services in order to overcome the economic crisis. Cuts to public services will have devastating effects on the long-term development of the Croatian economy.
PSI General Secretary Peter Waldorff says: “This budget is a slap in the face of the tens of thousands of public service workers who work with dedication to ensure quality public services are delivered for the benefit of the people of Croatia.
“Quality public services are the foundation of democratic societies and successful economies. These services ensure that everyone has equal access to important services including health care, education, electricity, clean water and sanitation. Cutting budgets and privatizing services puts corporate profit before the public interest. Such reforms can only lead to more inequality.
“I will ask public sector workers from all over the world attending the PSI World Congress in Durban, South Africa this week, to call upon the Croatian government to stop attacking its workers and engage in meaningful social dialogue,” says Waldorff.
“This is not the way forward for the country that is to be the European Union newest member. PSI fully supports the European Trade Union Confederation’s demand for a Social Compact for Europe to be discussed and agreed upon at EU tripartite level. The Social Compact will put fundamental social rights firmly ahead of economic freedoms. That is the spirit of the Charter of Fundamental Rights integrated in the Treaty of Lisbon.
“By ignoring the collective agreement and refusing to engage in social dialogue with trade unions, proposing changes in trade union legislation that attempt to weaken workers and their unions, this is nothing less than an open attack on trade unions in Croatia and to workers’ rights,” Waldorff concludes.