EPCG employees got the 13th salary in June, the management claims that it has nothing to do with the elections


Employees of the Montenegrin Electric Enterprise (EPCG) will be paid the so-called thirteenth salary in June, in the amount of the average salary at the company level. The decision was made by the Board of Directors at a session held at the end of May, due to the achieved business results of the company, as stated in the document. The management of EPCG denied that the decision had anything to do with the elections, but they refused to reveal to the MANS Investigative Centre how much money will be paid to employees.

In the document of the Decision obtained by MANS, it is stated that the initiative came from the Trade Union Organization of EPCG employees, and that the right to this bonus have all employees who established an employment relationship by the end of 2021, and to those who did so during the last year – an amount proportional to the number of days spent in employment during 2022 will be paid.

Additional money will not only be given to current employees, but also to those who were engaged during this year and last year through the so-called agencies for temporary assignment of employees, according to the Decision signed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Milutin Đukanović.

Responding to the inquiry of the MANS Investigative Centre, EPCG management claims that the decision to pay the so-called thirteenth salary in the month in which the parliamentary elections are held has nothing to do with daily politics.

– “EPCG and its employees can neither be held responsible for the fact that elections are held time and again, nor can such situations freeze the resolution of issues of interest to the Company”, EPCG management states, and adds that the company complies with all legal obligations, in this case, with the Law on Financing of Political and Electoral Entities.

As a reason for paying the bonus, EPCG cites an excellent business result for 2022, which was determined by the audited financial report for that year.

On the other hand, the aforementioned financial reports have yet to be discussed by the Shareholders’ Assembly, which is scheduled for the end of this month, thus, it is not clear how the Board of Directors refers in the Decision to documents that have not yet been adopted by the said Assembly.

Although they refer to excellent business results during the last year, it is interesting that the then net profit was as much as ten times lower than in 2021.

According to data from the latest financial report, EPCG employed 1109 people. The management of EPCG refused to announce how much money will be spent for the payment of the so-called thirteenth salary in the month when the parliamentary elections are held.

Information about new employment hidden for more than a year

The Law on Financing Political Entities and Election Campaigns does not oblige state-owned companies to inform the public about new employment during the election campaign. It is an obvious “loophole” in the law that many companies use to hide that pre-election employment is still used as a mechanism to influence voters. This is especially problematic in a situation where state-owned companies, even after the replacement of the previous regime, continued to be used as prey for political parties.

In the previous period, MANS used the Law on Free Access to Information to request data on employment contracts concluded by EPCG, but this company ignored each of the requests, even after the decisions of the Agency for Personal Data Protection and Free Access to Information ordering them to submit the requested information.

EPCG projects misused in the election campaigns

EPCG is one of the state-owned companies whose projects can often be seen as an integral part of pre-election campaigns of political parties whose officials are in management positions in that company. This trend was particularly indicated during the previous presidential elections, and continued in the campaign for parliamentary elections, where EPCG projects and the results achieved are attributed exclusively to the management, with a special mention from which political party such management staff comes.

This attitude towards state resources was characteristic of the parties of the previous government, but examples from the election processes after 2020 show that the mechanisms of misuse were successfully taken over by the new government i.e. the former opposition.


MANS Investigative Centre


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