Employment and working conditions in the railway sector in Croatia have both changed considerably in past years, with the liberalization of the sector triggering a need for greater efficiency. On one hand, the old public companies have become independent state-owned companies operating under market rules and have therefore come under pressure to increase their productivity. On the other hand, new entrants try to gain market share by being competitive and able to provide services in a flexible way. In addition, new technologies (online sale of tickets, remote control of trains, etc.) are modifying the quantity of labor and the job profiles required by the sector. As well as declining employment levels in the incumbent companies, the liberalization process and the outsourcing and subcontracting of activities have implications for working conditions.
Unions are critical of the decline of work protection levels and company benefits resulting from the liberalization and sectoral restructuring through which the old structures turned into state-owned companies and with varying degrees of subcontracting and outsourcing of activities. The unions indicate that fragmentation and privatization, coupled with the need to reduce costs, have led to major job losses, more flexible employment relationships, longer working hours, greater working time flexibility, pressure on wage developments, dismantling of company-based social benefits, less access to training. Although the employers are in favor of the liberalization of the sector, they share the view that the quality of the service and the health and safety of rail workers must be protected and competition based solely on differences in working conditions must be avoided.
The main purpose of DeWoTed is to improve prospects for fair and decent working conditions in the railway sector in Croatia by:
– Making a framework for better access to decent working arrangements in the railway sector piloted in HŽ Infrastruktura ltd.
– Improving skills and competencies of social partners and professionals on social dialogue for decent working arrangements
– Raising awareness of employees, employers, professionals and decision-makers on benefits of decent work in railway sector Piloted action will result in enhanced implementation of the decent work agenda (fair and decent working conditions)