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27 Mar 2023

Montenegro: Striking workers at Telekom subsidiary accuse company of union busting and unilaterally cancelling parts of the collective agreement; incl. company response


In February, UNI Global Union published an article which accuses Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary Crnogorski Telekom of unilaterally cancelling parts of the collective agreement that protect job security and union busting. Specifically, the article claims that Telekom hired strike breakers, set up a “yellow union”, doesn’t pay striking workers’ social benefits and is not allowing the union to gather on company premises. Workers are striking because they have allegedly not received a pay rise since 2008 even though inflation has risen by 50 per cent. They are asking for an increase in pay by 30% and for a return to the job protections of the previous collective agreement.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Deutsche Telekom to respond to the allegations. The company stated that "[...] the collective bargaining process is near its end and we expect the Collective Agreement to be signed very soon. [...] [T]hey have offered their employees a Collective Agreement in Montenegro with terms that are significantly better than the national average and comparable to certain operators in the region." See the full response below.