The basic purpose of workers associating into trade unions is precisely to pursue workers’ fundamental interests, which consist in improving the material and social working conditions. The collective agreement is the key mechanism in achieving this goal.
Collective bargaining includes all types of negotiations regarding working and employment conditions between workers’ representatives on the one hand and the employer or employers’ associations on the other. Collective bargaining and concluding collective agreements on behalf of union members is a fundamental task of every trade union. Only representative trade unions are authorised to carry out collective bargaining where they represent workers’ interests before the employer. The Trade Union of Printing and Media Industry devotes special attention to collective bargaining and conclusion of collective agreements.
By being realistic in its demands towards the employer, but at the same time fully committed to the interests of its members and other workers in the industry, in the process of collective bargaining the Union has been successfully achieving the goals and interests set by both its members and other workers. Our activities show that we enjoy the trust of workers in representing their interests, so we can attribute our success in collective bargaining to the support not only of our members, but also of all other workers.
The Union pays special attention to collective bargaining, which includes concluding new collective agreements, renewing and improving existing ones, but also taking care that existing collective agreements are fully respected and properly implemented.
Although other EU countries usually conclude industry-level collective agreements in order to ensure minimum labour standards for all employers within a certain industry, there is currently no branch collective agreement in the printing, publishing or media industry in Croatia. The first collective agreement in the industry, which we concluded after the independence of the Republic of Croatia in December 1992, was binding on all printing, publishing and information companies due to their mandatory membership in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce with which the agreement was signed. As the new Labour Act entered into force in 1996, guaranteeing the right to collective bargaining to employers’ associations, on June 14, 1997 a Collective Agreement for the Printing Industry was concluded with the employer’s association “Hrvatski grafičar”, which applied to part of employers who are their members. This collective agreement was valid until the cessation of active operation of the employers’ association in 2008 and is no longer in force.
For the last two decades, the activities of the Union have been continuously focused on collective bargaining at the employer level, i.e., on the so-called in-house collective agreements. Dozens of collective agreements were concluded in that period, and about 20 collective agreements are in force, covering almost 70% of our members. In this way, even in these times that are not conducive to sectoral bargaining, the Union has managed to ensure greater and safer workers’ rights with many employers.
We will always remain open to collective bargaining at the sector level, but an important goal of the future activities of our Union will certainly continue to be concluding new collective agreements with employers where no collective agreement has been concluded so far and improving the implementation of the existing ones.