Macedonian Employer Allegedly Discriminates against Romani Individuals

According to documentation undertaken by the ERRC and the Kumanovo-based National Roma Centrum (NRC), the Romani jobseekers in the central Macedonian town of Prilep were discriminated against by the local tobacco factory Akcionersko Drustvo Tutunski Kombinat – Prilep in June 2006. Beginning on 16 June, the Prilep Tobacco Factory published job advertisements for low-skilled seasonal workers in local newspapers for seven days. Hiring was to be done through the local employment bureau.

According to their testimony, on 23 June, Mr Bilent Kazimoski and Mr Orhan Ademoski, Romani men aged 24 and 35 from Prilep, submitted applications for the positions through the local employment office. When handing in their applications, the clerk informed Mr Kazimoski and Mr Ademoski that approximately 80 Roma had applied for the positions. According to ERRC/NRC research, on 25 June, the list of employed individuals was posted; only one Romani individual was on the list. During a meeting with the ERRC/NRC on 6 July, Mr Atanas Gagaleski, the person at the tobacco firm responsible for employment, stated that 400 people applied for the positions and 200 were hired. Therefore, while Romani applicants accounted for 20% of the total number of applicants, only one Romani individual was hired by the tobacco firm.

Mr Gagaleski informed the ERRC/NRC researcher that employee selection is done by the employer, who has the right and the freedom to employ people according to his own criteria, and that, according to the Labour Relations Law, the employer is not bound to ensure ethnic proportionality. Mr Gagaleski also stated, "The employer decides whether he will receive Nesime or Atanas" – Nesime being the name of the ERRC/NRC's Romani researcher.

(ERRC, NRC)

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