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The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia (CCM) has led a struggle for realization of workers’ rights related to the right to wage, a minimum wage, an annual leave and other allowances and benefits.

Upon the initiative of the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia for the first time in the history of labor and criminal legislation, the non-respect of these rights is being treated as a criminal act.

The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia in its program, especially in the Program of the 19th Congress of CCM has put a special emphasis on the fight against undeclared work and informal economy. Within this framework our constant activity was submitting proposals and amendments of certain laws that have been directed towards protection of wages, especially the minimum wage and payment of allowances.

In this regard we have pointed out the frequent occurrence of reduced salary payments, salaries in an envelope, return of cash to the employer etc. As it was known, on 2.11.2015, we launched a Campaign against undeclared work and informal economy and we have engaged all our structures in order to prevent the abuse of workers' rights, violation of labor rights, the return of cash to employers, benefit cuts, nonpayment or return of the annual recourse, the practice of reporting lower wages that have created serious problems with regard to the financing of the social security, depriving these workers and their families from protection against mandatory social risks.

The latest survey has shown that over 22.5% of workers are being involved in certain type of informal economy and undeclared work, and about 7% according to the survey have a job without employment contract and are faced with the problem of payment of lower wages or salaries in cash.
Due to such problems, CCM as one of the most important factors in the social partnership and one of the entities that first has requested an amendment to the Criminal Code deems that the latest draft amendments which stipulate:

In Article 166, after paragraph 1 two new paragraphs shall be added, which are the following:

"(2) Any person who shall ask the worker to return or to receive a certain amount of salary or other allowances paid by the employer shall be punished with imprisonment of three months to one year.

(3) The punishment of paragraph (2) shall be imposed to an employer who shall dismiss an employee who have reported the employer or gave testimony as a witness that he/she has been asked to return a certain amount of the salary or other allowances paid by the employer or has not return the requested amount.

Paragraph (2) becomes paragraph (4).

shall provide an opportunity for prevention and sanction of such phenomenon and shall allow a greater fight in the protection of wages, especially the minimum wage, workers' rights and social and economic security.

At the same time this measure shall encourage all workers to report the abuses of certain employers and shall enable the institutions and the unions to be even more actively involved in the struggle to achieve labor rights in the country.

CCM expresses its satisfaction that the initiative of CCM that was promoted for a longer period together with the social partners is being realized in this manner.

ILO Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities - EU FRIEDRICH EBERT STIFTUNG Организацијa на работодавачи на Македонија etuc