BRID // Baza za radničku inicijativu i demokratizaciju
OWID // Organization for Workers' Initiative and Democratization
Building the capacities of civil society organizations' activists through education, research, media and field work activities
- Field work linking civil society organization across Croatia - As a continuation of last year's field work (the program of regional cooperation with Pula, Sisak and Slavonski Brod), in 2015 OWID plans to expand the existing interregional collaboration. For the past few years, the organization has put great effort in finding contacts in different parts of the country and in establishing permanent relationships with progressive NGOs and unions. Such organizations have also been linked among themselves, which led to their empowerment and greater understanding of the importance of inter-sectoral collaboration. Such an approach will be continued in the months to come, when members of OWID will visit several localities, find existing organizations and unions with progressive tendencies, and try to react to the region's specific needs in collaboration with such groups. Interested groups and individuals will be found through both careful examination of these groups' activities as presented through local and independent media, as well as immediate communication with existing contacts familiar with events and distinct circumstances in other regions. Similarly to 2013 and 2014, particular care will be given to connecting existing and future contacts whenever possible, empowering them to team up on their own and raise questions or campaigns independently. Regions will be chosen with special regard, taking into consideration the foreseeable effects of local events linked to labour rights, trade union activities, common goods and deindustrialization on the general plight of workers in Croatia.
- 6 videos on workers' topics;
- web site on workers' rights radnickaprava.org;
- RAD. newspaper – three issues per year funded by the Ministry of Culture. RAD. will cover workers' topics. Through direct contact with the workers will illustrate the individual cases that may serve as a starting point for the analysis of other, more general, phenomenon in the world of work. Distribution of newpaper will be done in collaboration with the trade unions in order to reach out the population that could benefit most from getting acquainted with the various aspects of labor, and also will help to connect the various organizations whose activities and interests include labor rights.
- Union workshops - Based on the results of two union schools and last year's experience of the need for more general political education of our union schools participants, we decided to expand on our educational activities. Eight union workshops will be held during the year, roughly once a month; six in Zagreb and two in other cities. Up to 20 participants will gather to discuss union politics towards a wide variety of social, economic and political subjects which go outside of range of standard union topics, such as labour rights and working standards, and focus on discussions on economy, democracy, nationalism, ecology, public goods, immigration, neoliberalism, dominant public policies etc. Through discussions and education the main goal is to reach an understanding of how different political and social forces and policies not directly related to labour market, labour rights and union responsibilities influence workers, labour movement and working conditions, what should be the role of unions in public debates, and to determine what are the strategies for unions to promote progressive social policies and act as a relevant progressive political actor concerning broader political subjects.
- Women's union school - The Women's union school will be held in two sessions during March and April 2015. Fifteen to twenty women unionists from three union confederations (Croatian Association of the Workers’ Trade Unions, Independent Croatian Unions and the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia), other interested women and men unionists will meet in two sessions, each session consisting of three days of workshops, seminars, discussions and panels. The program of the first session (Introduction to feminism and labour movement) will deal with specific social and political measures relating to women - from self-management and examples of democratic governance, to the welfare model and neoliberal policies. The second session (The role of women in the household and in the labour market and the specificities of women's union organizing) will be dedicated to the feminization of poverty, precarious forms of work and double oppression of women, i.e. unpaid housework. Also, we will discuss key points of organizing from a socio-political perspective and analyze several examples of strikes in predominantly women industries, and form conclusions and recommendations for further activities.
- Research of structure of participants in Women's union school - As continuation of last year's survey conducted among union schools' participants, this survey aims to explore attitudes and motivation of students attending Women's union school for the first time. Results will be used to further develop the school's program and to allow for better cooperation between trade unions and NGOs interested in labour rights.
- Brochure on state-funded internships – results of the research that was started in 2014 and continued in cooperation with Croatian Employment Service on the representative sample of the measure beneficiaries will be published till the end of the year.
- Research on work conditions in precarious professions - insight into working conditions of a growing number of workers, not involved in standard employment relationships, is gained. This group includes part-time employment, self-employment, and other forms of freelance or 'free' labour. Such employment models often lead to income instability, lack of social and labour rights, and insecurity in general: because of that, it is essential to explore implications of such labour relations from the workers' point of view.
- Feminism, Organization and Cooperation: Relations between Women's Antifascist Front of Croatia and Workers' Movement - research of Women's Antifascist Front will serve as addition to the discussion of women's organization and participation in Socialist Party of Yugoslavia. All existing archives in Zagreb (State Archive of Republic of Croatia, National University Library, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, oral testimonies) will be used to pinpoint, elaborate and interpret models of organizational cooperation between WAF and "working people" (unions and other political organizations of workers).