Croatian Customs Officers to Strike in Middle of Tourist Season?

Total Croatia News

The customs trade union threatens that it could close down the borders.

Croatian customs officers are preparing for a strike in the middle of the tourist season. President of the Croatian Customs Trade Union Rino Štorić explained the reasons. “The Croatian Customs Trade Union has filed a request for conciliation with the Customs Administration,” he says, reports on 6 July 2017.

Commenting on the Customs Administration’s claims that it has not been informed about a possible strike, Štorić says that is not true. He adds they have sent a letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, so he is sure that everyone who needs to be informed has been informed. “They know about the strike, but they are just ignoring us,” he says.

“We have been waiting for new regulations for a year and a half to resolve this situation. They have promised that the two new rules on wages and coefficients will soon be adopted, but then we found out that today the government will not discuss them,” says Štorić.

He could not definitely confirm whether the strike will happen, explaining that the process of conciliation must be carried out first. “We have been negotiating about a meeting with the minister for some time, warning him that there will be a strike. It was agreed he would contact us as soon as he returned from Slavonia, but yesterday he said that he had no time for customs officers. It is strange that Finance Minister Marić does not have time for 3,000 people who collect 20 percent of the budget,” says Štorić.

“They are accusing the trade unions of causing trouble. I am not sure that the Minister has the right information, but I am certain he has promised us to solve the situation. As far as salaries are concerned, there have been some increases, but not for those who are doing the most work,” he explains.

“We are still not sure that the strike will take place. But, if it happens, we will have more success if the financial damage is greater. We do not want to cause harm, but we just want fair treatment,” says Štorić.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić says that the government has taken care of customs officers, who are an integral part of the Ministry of Finance and a significant segment, adding that he has always stressed that he is extremely proud of the customs service and very pleased with their work. “Based on the Law on Customs Service, we have drafted a proposal for the regulations on salary coefficients. This is something we have communicated with the trade unions,” Marić says. He also points out that the director of the Customs Administration has spent more than 35 hours in meetings with representatives of the customs trade unions.

He adds that the appeal of the Customs Trade Union would be considered. “With the best intentions, we will hear all these comments and draft regulations that we think will be good because we take care of our customs officers. I have always emphasised that I am extremely proud of the customs service and very pleased with its work,” concludes the Finance Minister.


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