Serbian workers on hunger strike against unpaid wages
The strike is supported by the Trade Union of Metal Workers Serbia. An arbitration commission proposed a settlement that was turned down by the owner of the factory. The owner has offered to pay half a salary which is unacceptable for the workers. The director of the factory also informed the workers on strike that they would be fired. But the employees contacted the labour inspectorate which warned the director that this is against the law.
Angered by the situation, several workers went on a hunger strike a week ago but terminated this on June 10th when the union organized a massive protest in front of the factory to demonstrate their support.
6-8 of November 2009 an international conference on Nuclear Disarmament was held in Stockholm, Sweden. Researchers and experts from all over the world participated, and discussed a wide range of topics concerning Nuclear Disarmament.
Here you can read a Commentary by Danilo Milic, Program Coordinator Belgrad
The Serbian government formed in 2008 lasted a full term despite predictions from several experts. However, the fact that this government was a coalition of several political parties with a small majority in the Parliament (128 out of 250 MPs) became evident during last six months when differences in the coalition became more obvious and especially in the campaign when some of the parties presented themselves almost as they were in the opposition during last four years.
Local and Parliamentary elections were held in time while Presidential elections were held ten months before the end of the Presidential term. The president of Serbia, Mr Boris Tadić (from Democratic Party) resigned, estimating that his new Presidential campaign will give additional boost to results of his party.
The campaign was relatively quiet, without any violence but with negative campaign between two largest political parties – Democratic Party (DS) and Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Major topics in the campaign were economy, unemployment and corruption.
Turnout at the elections was at the level of 59 percent. Since the electoral register are not properly updated and probably contains a higher number of voters than it should, together with the fact that there was a noticeable dissatisfaction in political parties among the voters, the turnout can be interpreted as satisfactory.
SNS was a relative winner of the Parliamentary elections with 24 percent of votes and 73 MPs in the Parliament. Still, this result is lower than expected by polls. The same thing happened to DS who got little over 22 percent which will give them 67 seats in the Parliament.
The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) meanwhile almost doubled their support comparing with 2008 elections. Although they were in the government during last four years, they used the campaign in order to present themselves as successful part of that government and willing to do more for the citizens if they get stronger support. The coalition around SPS will have 44 MPs in the new Parliament.
It is important to note that there will be no party in the Parliament that is representing extreme right. For the first time Serbian Radical Party stayed under the threshold with 4,6 percent won on the elections.
It is almost certain that SPS will have a decisive role in negotiations on future government. Their first option is to form a government similar to the acting one. Still, they have a second option and possible cooperation with SNS in case they do reach agreement with DS.
The presidential elections will have a second round on 20 May. DS candidate Boris Tadić got the support of 25,4 while SNS candidate Tomislav Nikolić got 25 percent.
Caption: Pavle Dimitrijevic, Bureau for Social Research (BIRODI), moderator; Radivoje Grujic, International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Zoran Gavrilovic, BIRODI – during panel discussion on media reporting on election campaign.