Management and representative Trade Unions concluded the Collective Agreement
Selakovic: Both sides did a good job
In accordance with the latest provisions of the Collective Agreement, the labor cost has been increased from 177 to 192 dinars per hour, and the basic salary has also been increased by a flat rate in the amount of 4,000 dinars, which is paid based on work attendance. The January salary will be 14 to 19 percent higher on average, and the biggest increase will be felt by those employed in direct production. Employees of Serbia Zijin Copper will receive their first salary according to the new calculation in February, in two parts, as before. – Zijin is among the largest exporters of Serbia and one of the companies that have the greatest influence on the growth of the gross domestic product. That is why it is important that satisfied people work in that company, people who have guaranteed labor rights, people who, thanks to this Collective Agreement, will reach the average salary that we have outlined for the whole country in the “Serbia 2025” plan, said the Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and social issues. – Caslav Gavric: Thanks to the fact that the company is progressing and doing well, we managed to defend the rights that the employees had
SZC. – In the presence of the Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Nikola Selakovic and the Mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikic, the management of Serbia Zijin Copper and representatives of representative Trade Unions signed (February 8) the Collective Agreement which will be in force for the next three years. This document defines trade union and employment rights for all 6,200 employees in the company, and many of them are significantly higher than those guaranteed by the Labor Law.
The new Collective Agreement was signed by the Director of Serbia Zijin Copper Jian Ximing and representatives of four representative trade unions, namely Ninoslav Vukasinovic on behalf of the “Nezavisnost” trade union, Vladimir Stefanovic and Goran Antic on behalf of the Independent Trade Union from Bor and Majdanpek and Zarko Radulovic on behalf of the Smelter Trade Union Organization.
Human Resources Department Manager Huang Zhaoyu said that the conclusion of the Collective Agreement is the result of cooperation and negotiations between the trade unions and the company. – This is a very important day because we finally signed the Collective Agreement. We believe that the future of all of us will be better from tomorrow.
The Collective Agreement will be valid until 2026, with the fact that at the end of each year, depending on the change in the financial parameters that affect the calculation of the basic wage, only the price of labor, as the basic element for calculating wages, will be renegotiated with the trade unions.
Employees of Serbia Zijin Copper will receive their first salary according to the new calculation in February, in two parts, as before. In accordance with the latest provisions of the Collective Agreement, the labor cost has been increased from 177 to 192 dinars per hour, and the basic salary has also been increased by a flat rate in the amount of 4,000 dinars, which is paid based on work attendance. The January salary will be 14 to 19 percent higher on average, and the biggest increase will be felt by those employed in direct production.
The employer understood the needs of the employees and kept the payment suspensions, as well as the amount of severance pay for retirement, which is significantly higher than the amount prescribed by the Labor Law. The company also undertook to reward voluntary blood donation with four days of paid leave, although the Labor Law allows only two days of leave from work on this basis. An agreement was reached with the unions regarding the length of the annual leave as well as the protection of a sensitive group of employees, such as the disabled. Also, the new Collective Agreement provides for the possibility for employees to spend two nights in the “Jezero” hotel on Lake Bor during the year.
For Bor to once again be the driving engine of the development of the whole of Serbia
The Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs assessed that this means “that both sides did their job well”. – Thanks to the great friendship and steel partnership between Serbia and China, the conditions have been met for Bor to once again be the driving engine of the development of the whole of Serbia. If it had not been for the trust between the two presidents and the personal involvement of Aleksandar Vucic, who succeeded in opening the way for Chinese investments in the entire country, especially in Bor, and thereby stopped the regression, deterioration, and marginalization of not only this part of our country, but Serbia in general, there would not have been anything here now. The trust and personal friendship of the heads of the two states and their intensive cooperation brought serious investments and serious companies to our country, and that brought a new chance for development to Bor, Majdanpek, and the whole of eastern Serbia – said Nikola Selakovic.
Expressing his satisfaction that he has the opportunity to attend the signing of the new Collective Agreement in Serbia Zijin Copper, the mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikic, explained why it is important for the entire city. – We have always put the interests of our employees first, regardless of whether they are employees of Zijin, a public company, or an institution. Also, no matter what company we are talking about, you can’t do business without people. And, people should be satisfied. That is why a specific goal can only be achieved through compromise, discussion, and agreement, and we are all witnesses that this is the only right way. It is up to us to continue to develop everything that good state policy has brought us, everything that made it possible for the Chinese Zijin to be our partner, because thanks to this, Bor’s budget has risen from 1.7 billion dinars in 2018 to 6,4 billion dinars nowadays, with the aim that by the end of 2023 it will be as little as seven billion dinars. Four times “heavier” city coffers oblige us to continue developing Bor faster, with higher intensity, and greater productivity as well as to create conditions for the arrival of new, young people in Bor. That is why I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this story – said Aleksandar Milikic.
The Collective Agreement is a magnet for all looking to work
Minister Selakovic added that the conclusion of the Collective Agreement is important for all of Serbia. – I understand the mayor when he says that the event we attended is important for Bor. I also understand why it is important for the unions and employees of Zijin as well as for all other companies that are connected to the operations of the Chinese company, and we are talking about over 10 thousand people. I am here as a Minister in the Government of Serbia to point out the importance of the Collective Agreement for all of Serbia. This is important because Zijin is among the largest exporters of Serbia and one of the companies that have the greatest influence on the growth of the gross national product. That is why it is important that satisfied people work in that company, people who have guaranteed labor rights, people who, thanks to this Collective Agreement, will reach the average salary that we set for the whole country in the “Serbia 2025” plan. So, Bor is two years ahead of Serbia, and that is a good sign not only for this city and Majdnapek, not only for eastern Serbia, but for the whole country. In addition to its importance for employees, this Collective Agreement is also a magnet for all looking to work. Young people will now come to Bor and Majdanpek to get a job in a serious company, which has put our small country back on the map of the world market. The Collective Agreement that has just been concluded shows how much Zijin cares about its employees, and we can see that by how many rights and privileges are given to them, about which the Labor Law does not say anything. The average salary guaranteed by this document is exceptional and will have an impact not only on those who work here today, but also on anyone who comes to this city looking for work. The mayor explained it vividly by comparing the city treasury from five years ago to today. I will add that today Bor has a budget like Kraljevo, Sabac and a slightly smaller budget than Subotica. I mentioned three cities that have over 100 thousand inhabitants! This speaks volumes about how fast Bor is developing and how much the standard of the residents of Bor and the residents of Majdanpek will seriously increase in this and the following years – Selakovic told reporters.
Caslav Gavric addressed the media on behalf of the mining and energy trade union “Nezavisnost”. He said that the unions are satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations. – After long negotiations, reason prevailed, so we reached an agreement with the employer regarding the conclusion of the Collective Agreement, that is, regarding the rights and obligations that employees need to have. Thanks to the fact that the company is progressing and doing well, we were able to defend the rights that the employees had. Good business should be accompanied by good working conditions and good salaries. We believe that with solid earnings, we have prevented the departure of young people and managed to keep them here. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Ministries of Labor, Mining, and Economy because, through counseling and mediation in the negotiations, they managed to bring the positions of the employer and the trade unions closer together and contributed to us all starting to think differently – Gaavric said.
After the signing of the Collective Agreement, which attracted a great deal of media attention, the management of Serbia Zijin Copper presented Minister Nikola Selakovic and his adviser in the field of labor Mira Basta with a plaque as a sign of gratitude for mediating the conclusion of the Collective Agreement. The representatives of the four representative trade unions thanked them in the same way.