Dea Gjinali, head of the IPKO union, the first union of workers in private companies.

While labor unions in the public sector are synonymous with strikes, Dea shows how the IPKO union, through dialogue with management, achieved its goals without holding a single strike for 11 years.

Dea, going back in time, shows the meeting of colleagues in coffee as the initial meeting until the creation of the IPKO union for a week.

Dea also reveals the numerous difficulties in maintaining an active trade union in the private sector.

Establishment of the IPKO Union?

While many initiatives to create unions in the private sector fail, Dea sees the expediency in creating the IPKO union as a key factor that influenced its establishment.

Dea tells how in 2011 at the time of the recession, IPKO's management demanded a 10% pay cut for all employees.

The request as such was unacceptable to the employees.

The mobilization of the employees did not fail and for a week they created the union.

After the opening of the trade union, Dea says that a dialogue was held with the management and a decision was made not to reduce wages.

Now there are about 500 employees in IPKO, while 70 percent of them are part of the union, says Dea.

Procedures for establishing a trade union?

Dea claims that the establishment of trade unions is necessary for every private company in order to achieve the rights of employees and to develop the company.

Dea sees the establishment of trade unions more as a matter of will and courage on the part of the employees because she claims that the Law on Trade Union Organization in Kosovo is very easily applicable.

Several employees are gathered, the foundation act is created, then the foundation act proposes the chairman and the leader.

Regarding the act of incorporation, Dea says it depends on the company how big it is.

About 40 employees were involved in the creation of the act of establishment in IPKO, who then proposed the chairman and the leader.

The financial part of unions?

About 70% of employees in IPKO who are part of the union give 1% of their salary for the operation of the union, says Dea.

Dea says that the IPKO trade union is very transparent in terms of the financial part, where once a year it informs the staff about how much the trade union's budget was and where it was spent.

In general, Dea indicates that the union budget is spent only for the benefit of the union members.

As concrete cases, Dea discloses how the union has allocated financial resources to union members who have been sick, for lawyers' expenses when the worker takes the company to court, and how recently, with the rise of inflation, the union has allocated fifty ( 50) euros for each of its members.

The union, and the protection of the rights of employees?

Dea claims that the union is a limiting line for employers as far as they can go.

Currently, private companies that have unions hold the employer more accountable in terms of respecting the rights of employees.

Dea, for the protection of the rights of female workers, sees the change of the legislative framework of work as very necessary.

What does the union offer to employees?

Dea, from her long experience in the union, shows that the union is security for the worker.

A worker who is safe offers more productivity at work, says Dea.

Cooperation with other unions?

Currently, Dea claims that there is no concrete cooperation with other unions.

He sees cooperation as very necessary in the sense of exchanging experiences and information.

Something for the end?

Finally, Dea encourages the employees of private companies to create unions because he sees it as very significant for both employees and companies, towards fulfilling the rights of employees in their workplaces.

This podcast is a series of podcasts "Beyond employment: Rights at work" developed by the Center for Policy and Advocacy with financial support from the European Union.

The content of this podcast is the sole responsibility of the Center for Policy and Advocacy and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the Diversity Reporting Network 2.0