Union leaders on Monday assessed that the government's decision to withhold the payment of seniority bonuses in state and public services was a violation of fundamental postulates of a legal and democratic state and announced possible court action to protect workers' rights.

The leader of the Association of Croatian Trade Unions, Vilim Ribic, told Hina that the unions would be in a better position in this dispute because court proceedings can protect employee rights however the state budget would then fare quite poorly. Union leaders believe that the government should have already called on them and offered them a solution or agreement. 

It may be a good thing for Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and his government because any court dispute probably would not be finalised during their term because this government won't last long and it will be a case of 'passing the buck,' Ribic said.

Asked whether unions were prepared to perhaps postpone the payment of these benefits, Ribic said that that depended on how the government would approach the issue. "We have to see who these people are... They have no idea about the most basic things in leading a country or talks. They have to be concrete and open for dialogue and if that does not occur than we will do it our way," he said.

Ribic recalled that the Constitutional Court had clearly stated that the Law on withholding payments was valid for one year and that it would no longer be applicable in 2016 unless some agreement is reached with the unions.

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