BELGRADE – Although the Ministry of Interior is still working on security risk assessment for Belgrade Pride parade, there is a high probability that the event will be canceled, because two days before the parade the police officers will begin strike.
As it is stated, five police unions will, on September 26 at seven o’clock, start working with a “minimum of work process” – the only way the police can strike. Minimum of work does not mean providing security for gatherings and sport events.
Velimir Lukic, chairman of the representative of the Independent Police union, which brings together more than 25,000 members, told Serbian Daily “Danas” that the Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic should inform the organizers of the Pride Parade that it will be canceled because the police refuse to provide security.
“If we are taken seriously, the minister will do so. Unions will urge canceling of all announced meetings, events and gatherings, because we will not provide security,” Lukic said.
Police officers will strike because the new collective agreement has not been signed yet. Also, unions are seeking payment of fees for the coming to and going from work for employees in the Interior Ministry, the payment of annual awards as well as the guarantee of the Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic to the employees of the Interior Ministry that further reduction in earnings will not apply to them. They also informed the Police Director Milorad Veljovic about the strike.
“No one from the government office has contacted us. Strike is certain and will continue until all our demands are met. As the ‘minimum work process’ is a ‘mystery’, because no one has defined what specifically it means in practice, it will be determined by our legal experts. Providing security for gatherings, parades and events does not fall under the minimum work process in any case,” Lukic said.