European railway trade unions protest against illegal dismissal of Croatian trade union representative

2 Jun 2016

On 1 June a demonstration took place in Zagreb to protest against the dismissal of Dalibor Petrovic as employee of the Croatian Railways Passenger Transport HŽPP Company. Dalibor Petrovic is the Vice-President of the ETF affiliated Railroad Engineer Trade Union of Croatia.

An international delegation including the ETF Deputy General Secretary, the Chair of the ITF Railway Section and ETF trade union representatives from Austria, Finland, Norway, Slovenia and UK joined the Croatian colleagues at the demonstration to show solidarity, denounce the unacceptable behaviour of the company and demand the immediate reinstatement of Dalibor Petrovic in his position.

Dalibor received notice of his dismissal on the grounds of “loss of confidence”, while he was solely executing his trade union duty. After he unsuccessfully called on managers to respect safety rules and denounced counterfeiting working time attendance, he reported the incident to the General Manager. As a consequence he was fired because he “violated the dignity of the managers” involved.

The court of first instance confirmed the illegal dismissal and agreed that Dalibor was executing his trade union duty. However, the court of second instance reversed the judgement.

On 20 May the ETF Executive Committee adopted a resolution denouncing Dalibor’s dismissal. It underlined that the recently adopted new Railway Safety Directive within the 4th Railway Package, which was also confirmed by the Croatian Transport Minister, introduces the obligation to develop a just culture in the rail sector. That is a safety culture encouraging employees to report safety problems without risk for blame and legal prosecution.

Please find below the ETF Executive Committee resolution.