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Bargaining for working conditions and social rights of migrant workers in Central East European countries (BARMIG), National report: Serbia

No.50

Bargaining for working conditions and social rights of migrant workers in Central East European countries (BARMIG), National report: Serbia

Authors: Meszmann, T.
Published: December 2022

Abstract:

Several push factors influence migrations from Serbia to CEE: the deteriorating quality of jobs, bad working conditions for industrial and service sector jobs, and the poor function- ing of the rule of law. Labour migration from Serbia to CEE is mostly temporary, and the largest cohort who take such jobs consists of members of the middle-aged population with secondary or elementary education. They find employment in physically hard jobs in CEE manufacturing (especially in the automotive and electronics industry), construction, and tourism. The use of labour intermediation services has rapidly increased from 2016 onwards, but employer-driven temporary migration (that is, employer posting and its hybrid forms) is gradually gaining ground. In general, an information deficit exists among migrant workers, which several important civil society organization (CSO) initiatives along with closed infor- mation flows among workers, and rudimentary cooperation among internationally active trade unions have solved. One solution for the information deficit and the related dangers of overexploitation is to link two forms of “screening” jobs and work arrangements: closed groups of migrant workers should establish regular, preferably institutionalised communi- cation channels with a trade union or other worker organization. Such links could yield both mutual and more general social benefits.

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