Dalibor Antanasijević, president of the Magna Seating union, member of industriAll Europe affiliate Industrijski Sindikat Srbije, ISS, and main negotiator of the collective agreement was barred from entering company premises and given indefinite paid leave.

For a short while, Antanasijević could only work 45 hours a month to perform his union duty, under the surveillance of a member of the security team, until he received the letter of dismissal.

The employer, Magna Seating who produces seat trim covers for customers including Ford, Skoda, Audi and Renault, has conducted campaigns of intimidation and coercion at the factory, and obstructing the collective bargaining process.

According to the union, a “consent paper” has been circulated among workers, stating that they do not want that the union fee be deducted from their salary any longer.

Serbia has ratified core ILO Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining, and Magna’s own code of conduct talks about respecting “the right of employees to associate freely and to be represented” and “work constructively with legally recognized representatives to promote the interests of our employee.”

In a joint letter to company management, IndustriALL Global Union and industriAll Europe say:

“Dalibor Antanasijević has been fired over his trade union activities and performing his work as the democratically elected union president. His dismissal goes against all the fundamental principles that Magna management claims to respect and promote in its official documents and statements.

“Therefore, we strongly urge you to stop union busting and interfering in trade union activities, and truly respect international labour standards. We also urge you to annul the dismissal decision and reinstate Mr. Antanasijević without delay.”

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley, press and communication