Government to deal with housing issues more efficiently

Srđa Keković

Union of Free Trade Unions wants the Government to build social apartments to add to housing supply for those who are dealing with housing issues. Union representatives have launched an initiative and they hope it will succeed. The Union will keep advocating for the employees’ rights, while paying special attention to women employees who would like to be mothers one day.

Secretary-General of the Union of Free Trade Unions, Mr Srđa Keković, conveys a clear message – this country should build social apartments, and they should be state-owned, and intended for young people who can’t afford to settle their housing issues.

“Citizens should be given the chance to live in apartments and rent them. 100+Project turns our citizens into slaves and makes banking and construction lobby more profitable. If country invested €5 million annually in the construction of apartments, in five years we would be having a great number of apartments and we would be able to settle many dwelling issues”, says Mr Keković.

Mr Keković says its’ high time that a citizen was in the focus.

“This model is used in European countries. It’s not something we’ve invented. We should really get into this”, says Mr Keković.

The Union has addressed the Government of Montenegro several times.

“We have been dealing with one of the most important existential problems in Montenegro for so many years. Adequate housing is a human right and it’s important instrument of social policy and fight against poverty and exclusion. We want to approach this problem through an open dialogue with social partners, NGO sector and interested actors. We want to create proactive housing policy. In that context, we have addressed the Government several times, just like we did today”, said Mr Keković.

Mr Keković talked about the rights of workers and warned that they usually work while in fear of getting fired.

“You can get job only if you are well-connected”, says Mr Keković.

He says that employers are usually people who have become capital owners overnight and now they are trying to make profit using their employees.

“Working conditions are usually inappropriate, people work for part-time, and their employment is for a fixed period of time. They are afraid to stand up for their rights because they fear they might get fired. Now that we are headed towards the EU, it has to change. EU contract is standard and protects an employee. Even if an employee gets fired, there are social programs where an employee becomes country’s concern”, says Mr Keković.

However, country and competent authorities should work hard and use prevention and punitive measures.

“It is normal if you work overtime, if you have fixed-term employment contract, if you are registered through an agency… It’s normal even though it’s not”, says Mr Keković.

Mr Keković says workers should organize and fight for their rights.

“I understand the fear. Nepotism makes our young people leave. There are no mechanisms of responsibility. If institutions did their job professionally and responsibly, everything would be different”, says Mr Keković.

He says that pregnant women should be given protection as they usually remain jobless.


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