Caption 1. Plenary Session of the Board of Youth of RSS Solidarnost
In the period from 9 to 14 October 2015, in Skopje, a regional meeting of the Regional Trade Union Council "Solidarnost" and the ETUC was held, on which plenary session had RSS "Solidarnost" and the Youth Board of RSS "Solidarnost". The plenary session was attended by the members of the RSS "Solidarnost" led by the presidents of the unions from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Montenegro and Macedonia, as well as representatives of the Youth Board of the same countries. The meeting was also attended by the representative of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Mr. Peter Seideneck and the regional coordinators of the project, Emilia Grujic and Goran Pavlov.
Caption 2. Lidija Naskovska, M.Sc, on the plenary session of the Youth Board
The first day of the plenary session of the Youth Board of RSS "Solidarnost" led by Lidija Naskovska, President of the Youth Section of CCM, had discussion on organizing Youth Camp, logistics and agenda, a presentation on Internet and Communication by Goran Pavlov, coordinator of the regional project and presentation on "The Youth- lost in transition, political challenges and perspectives of young people in SEE". This topic was presented by Darko Sheperik, a representative from Croatia who presented the survey conducted in eight countries which included 1200 young people aged from 14 to 29 years over a period of 3 years, with a support of Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The topics covered in this presentation were: 1) ways on which young people experience democracy and to what extent they support this process, 2) what do youth think regarding EU integration of their countries, 3) what impact has the EU in terms of democracy and its institutions, 4) whether young people are willing to contribute to the democracy in their countries. After this presentation an open discussion was following in which participants had their presentations on the difficulties of young people for employment in their own countries as well as the shortcomings of the governmental systems and self-employment policies. The discussion comprised several issues: What role should trade unions have in the process of democracy; What is the role of the unions in the process of EU integration; What are the views of trade unions on EU integration; How can trade unions come closer to young people; Can unions influence the brain drain in the region; What should be the position of trade unions towards migrant workers; What can unions do to improve the situation of young people in the labor market in the region.
Caption 3. Presentation of the survey, Darko Sheperik, Croatia
Regarding these issues a fruitful discussion was developed by all participants who provided concrete suggestions and opinions on the situation in each country. The conclusion reached during this plenary session was in the direction of: Need for reforms in the educational system that will follow the needs of the labor market; Opening of new jobs; Ignorance of youth (insufficient familiarity with labor rights and union membership, and insufficient convergence of trade unions to youth).
Caption 4. Reforms in unions, Darko Sheperik
The second day of the Youth Board of RSS Solidarnost was dedicated to trade union reforms and the position of young people in these reforms. The session was opened by a presentation of the Manual of good practice published by the ETUC which contains explanations of basic concepts that should be included in all organizational documents and statutes of the trade unions according to their specificity towards ensuring democracy. Also on this session his presentation had the representative of Croatia, Darko Sheparik on the topic: What can unions do for the young people and what can young people do for the unions? His presentation was focused on the need, areas and challenges of reforms in trade unions: organizational structure, improvement of services, implementation of reforms in activities, change of behavior with all stakeholders, change in terms of communication, internal and external, organizational culture, finance and improving public image. The plenary session of the Youth Board of RSS "Solidarnost" was closed with adoption of specific conclusions regarding this subject.
Caption 5. President Zhivko Mitrevski on the plenary session of RSS Solidarnost
On 12.10.2015 the plenary session of RSS Solidarnost was held. The plenary session was opened by the President of the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia, PhD Zhivko Mitrevski with a status of Chairman of the Regional Trade Union Council "Solidarnost". The agenda of the plenary session was: 1. Working program for the regional project 2016; 2. Registration of RSS "Solidarnost"; 3. Functioning of RSS "Solidarnost"; Macroeconomic policy and employment policy that promotes formal employment with special emphasis on youth; Challenges and problems of transition from informal to formal economy.
In the framework of the plenary session, the participants sent a joint Letter of condolence to their colleagues from the Turkish trade unions DISK and KESK, members of the ETUC, regarding the terrorist attack which took place in Ankara, during which more than 97 people were killed 186 were injured which was strongly condemned as a monstrous act and Letter of condolence to the Union of Workers in the mining sector of FBiH and their families. Also the members of RSS Solidarnost sent a letter to the Director and the Secretary General of the International Labor Organization, with a request for urgent action to deal with the complaint of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Bosnia and Herzegovina within its jurisdiction to send recommendations to the authorities in Bosnia as well as request for active involvement of the ILO in resolving the problem, especially given the difficult situation in which Bosnian workers are being placed. As another common activity of the members of RSS Solidarnost was the Open Letter sent to the Parliament of Montenegro, the Government of Montenegro, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Commercial Court of Montenegro with an appeal for taking measures against the anti-union, discriminatory violation of fundamental rights at work in the aluminum plant. At the same time, the members of RSS Solidarnost together with representatives of the Youth Board congratulated the Tunisian quartet on the Nobel Peace Prize, for the decisive contribution to building a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia.
The second session of the meeting was devoted to social dialogue and industrial relations in which each participant stated his position on this issue, presenting the situation in each country.
Regarding the topic "Macroeconomic policies and employment policies and promotion of formal employment," the Chairman PhD Zhivko Mitrevski presented the situation in the Republic Macedonia and as well as the active policies to promote formal employment and the expected results thereof, presenting official data on the number of unemployment in 2006 (38%) compared to the current which amounts to 27.8% as a result of the implementation of active measures, highlighting the measures for self-employment, covering approximately 1,000 people and grants of 3000 euros for businesses, subsidizing companies that employ young people and so on. In the discussion al participants were actively involved, presenting the situation in their countries. The next topic for discussion at the plenary session were the challenges of the transition from informal to formal economy, a topic of particular challenge for trade unions for which was stated that there is no universal policy to eliminate this negative phenomenon. What was emphasized was the fact that the informal economy is most present in the construction, trade, agriculture, housework etc. The participants in the discussion on this topic have agreed that the two factors most important to solve this negative phenomenon were: industrial revolution and raising the awareness of workers from the earliest age. Participants also stressed the importance of campaigning, training and education of workers with the help of international organizations in order to raise the capacity and level of knowledge of the workers in relation to protection of labor rights, by which the first day of the plenary session was closed.
The second day of the plenary session was also attended by the representatives of the Youth Board and started with a presentation of the Report of the Youth Board on their work in the past two days. The report was presented by Lidija Naskovska, followed by open discussion on the necessary reforms in the unions. The joint session was attended by the trade union leaders and representatives of the Youth Board of RSS Solidarnost during which concrete steps for further implementation were reached as a conclusions of the plenary session.
Caption 6. The presidents of the unions, members of RSS Solidarnost with the representatives of the Youth Board