Opinion regarding the complaint lodged by I.K. from U. against company PTP “D.” DOO from K. on account of discrimination on the grounds of membership in a union organization.

No. 07-00-00555/2016-02  Date: 12 June 2017

 

                                                 OPINION

 

The present opinion was issued following a complaint procedure initiated upon a complaint lodged by I.K. from U. against company PTP “D.” DOO from K. (hereinafter referred to as PTP “D.”), on account of discrimination on the grounds of membership in a union organization. The complainant stated, inter alia, that from the moment he had been appointed as the Commissioner of S.S.T.S. trade union organization in PTP “D.” company, the management of the retail facility in K. where he worked, used threats and blackmailing on daily basis as a means of obstructing his trade union activities “because they had been ordered by their head office to do so”. He also stated in his complaint that once he had been appointed as the Commissioner of his trade union organization, he was transferred to another job position and he was served with a warning threatening that his employment contract would be terminated. In his declaration responding to allegations contained in the complaint, the Director of PTP “D.” branch office, Z. Š. stated, inter alia, that the complainant’s allegations, claiming that the management of the retail facility in K. had banned I.K.’s co-workers to communicate with him, were not true. The respondent also stated that he was unaware of anyone in the complainant’s work environment acting unfairly, making threats, obstructing the operation of the trade union or in any other way discriminating against the complainant. In his declaration responding to allegations contained in the complaint, the Managing Director of PTP “D.” company denied I.K.’s claims that he and other members of S.S.T.S. trade union organization in PTP “D.” Company were exposed to any kind of pressure due to their membership in the mentioned trade union organization and that “the relationship I.K. had with his co-workers in the retail facility was his private matter which, he as a manager of the company could not and would not interfere with”. In the course of the complaint procedure, it has been ascertained that I.K. had provided evidence which make it probable that the act of discrimination had occurred, while facts and evidence provided by PTP “D.” Company did not offer sufficient grounds to believe that the warning threatening that complainant’s employment contract would be terminated and reassignment to another job position were based on objective and justifiable reasons unrelated to the fact that I.K. is a member of the aforementioned trade union organization. Furthermore, in its declaration PTP “D.” Company had not offered evidence to dispute allegations made by I.K. stating that he had been subjected to numerous insulting and degrading acts by the management of the retail facility of the above mentioned company, including threats, blackmailing, searches, ban on the complainant’s approaching and communicating with his co-workers. Taking into consideration the fact that the mentioned actions of the management of the retail facility in K. ensued following I.K.’s appointment to the post of the Commissioner of S.S.T.S “D.” trade union organization, and that the company had not offered evidence to contest I.K.’s allegations made in his complaint, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, following the complaint procedure, has formulated its opinion by applying the rule of shifting the burden of proof, stating that PTP “D.” DOO Company from K. had, with its actions against I.K., committed an act of discrimination against I.K. on the grounds of his personal characteristic, namely membership in the trade union organization, thus violating the provision of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. For this reason, PTP “D.” Company was issued a recommendation to take all necessary measures aimed at eliminating consequences of discriminatory treatment of I.K., to develop and adopt the Code of Equality geared towards preventing discrimination and promoting workplace equality in PTP “D.” Company and to refrain in the future from violating provisions of anti-discrimination legislation when performing its regular work and activities.  

 

COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY

 

  Brankica Janković

 

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