The Port of Adria trade unions are demanding a review of the privatization of the Container Terminal

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The union believes that the first three-year investment program, from 2014 to 2016 of 13.6 million euros, has not been implemented, and that in the next, from 2017 to last year, almost nothing was invested, although it was planned 7, 6 million

The trade union organization of the company Port of Adria asked the Privatization and Capital Investment Council and the Government to reconsider the process of selling the former bar company Container Terminal and General Cargo.

“We hope that the new Government will consider in detail the legality of the privatization process of the Container Terminal, and it is necessary to re-evaluate the implementation of the investment program,” reads the letter sent by the Union to the Privatization Council.

The union believes that the first three-year investment program, from 2014 to 2016 of 13.6 million euros, has not been implemented, and that in the next, from 2017 to last year, almost nothing was invested, although it was planned 7, 6 million.

According to them, all business reports should be reviewed in detail.

“The new owner refused to apply the obligatory collective agreement and thus, in addition to reducing the salaries of employees by almost 40 percent, damaged the budget of Montenegro by several million euros,” the union said.

They claim that the situation on the ground is very bad, that salaries are about 30 percent lower than in the Port of Bar, and that more complicated and risky jobs are being done.

The company had 580 employees in 2014, when it was sold, and today it is under 300.

The Trade Union stated that they were disturbed by the stories about the alleged sale and departure of investors from Turkey.

“It should be examined whether they have the legal right to sell the company at all and whether they can dispose of its property, if they have grossly violated the sales and concession agreement,” the union’s letter reads.

In a letter sent to the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Vladimir Leposavic, the trade union organization stated that the new owner did not fully respect the collective agreement at any time, except in the details that were in his favor.

“Nearly 300 employees were forced to initiate court proceedings for violating the collective agreement. The lawsuits went in our favor, because both the Basic Court in Bar and the High Court in Podgorica determined in several verdicts that the new owner had to respect the collective agreement of the Port of Bar, “the letter reads.

The union said that they were unpleasantly surprised by the legal position of the Supreme Court, ie the Civil Department, which considers the collective agreement invalid, that it was valid only a year after the division of the Port of Bar and that it had to be signed by the employer and the union.

The question arises, as they said, why the judges merged in the same cases workers in directing, workers in the norm, pensioners, even those who have already left the Port of Adria with severance pay.

“The question also arises as to why they did not complete and determine the precise amounts for payment two years ago, and then stopped the trials and waited for the trial to continue, ie the position of the High Court from Podgorica,” the letter reads.

The union said that they hope that the story from November, when all hearings were formally held every 15 minutes, will not be repeated in February, but no case has moved forward.

“Allegedly, there were controversial expert reports, which we all paid for with a considerable fee. “None of us insists that we are right, we just expect verdicts to be finally made,” the letter added.

They believe that in cases related to the Port of Adria, the legality of that position of the Civil Division, the behavior of judges of the Constitutional Court on appeals as well as individual judges of the Basic Court in Bar should be re-examined.

“Until recently, we thought that Strasbourg was our only hope and address for achieving justice, which would be paid dearly by the citizens of Montenegro instead of a foreign investor,” the letter added.