Police union files criminal complaint against interior minister

Ljubljana – One of the two trade unions of Slovenian police officers has filed a criminal complaint against Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and a Robert Kos, the director for organisation and staff at the police, for alleged obstruction of union activity in the force and abuse of office.

The Police Trade Union of Slovenia claims both Hojs and Kos had since the start of the year intentionally violated provisions of the collective agreement for the police that govern the conditions for trade union activity.

The gist of the dispute concerns how shop stewards – representatives of the union in individual parts of the force – divide their work time between union activities and police work.

The union says shop stewards had discretion under the 2013 collective agreement to organise their work as they deem necessary, the minister says the employer has the right to decide how they work.

“All I want is for them to perform police work in addition to their union work. If they do not want that, they are free to decide to be full-time professional unionists, but they do not wish to do that,” Hojs told POP TV.

Hojs described the criminal complaint as an attempt by the political left to harm him before the election, a charge the trade union denies.

This is just the latest criminal complaint filed by the union, which in January similarly targeted Police Commissioner Anton Olaj, who wanted to vet union communiques distributed through the internal police messaging system.