Sandra Obradovic, leader of Trade Union of Aluminum Plant of Podgorica (KAP) in Montenegro, was fired for participating in a round table organized by anti-corruption organization MANS (The Network for Affirmation of NGO Sector). Ms. Obradovic is a strong advocate of compliance with labor laws and “green regulations” in her job, even though she faced constant pressure from management to stay silent on these issues.
At the round table, Ms. Obradovic spoke about the harassment she was experiencing at the workplace in front of the round table participants, which included members of the Montenegro government and several other reputable EU officials. Ms. Obradovic timely informed her management that she would be leaving work that day to perform her trade union activities and was cleared to attend. As her discussion was widely publicized in the media, KAP was well aware of her participation as the trade union leader.
Management later fired Ms. Obradovic, claiming that she missed work due to private matters. Management also claimed that she was dishonest when she requested to have that time off. However, it is clear Sandra Obradovic was retaliated against for blowing the whistle on practices in her office, not for one day’s missed work.
Ms. Obradovic’s right to free speech has been violated, and MANS writes that this treatment is becoming the norm, instead of the exception in Montenegro. Now is the time for the government of Montenegro to take a stand for whistleblower rights, by protecting Ms. Obradovic and others like her who choose to come forward with the truth.
*Philip Barrett (NWC Intern) contributed to this post