By MajaTuljkovic – Sarajevo
Before they began mass protests in B&H, employees of failed companies from the area of Tuzla Canton have been gathering every Wednesday in order to express their dissatisfaction with the Cantonal Government and the Prosecutor’s Office. Their Wednesday protests have continued this week as well, when they gathered in front of the buildings of the Cantonal Court and the Prosecutor’s Office in Tuzla to protest and to show their contempt for the bad situation in which many companies in the Tuzla area find themselves, as well as to demand their basic labor rights. The gathered workers of the companies ‘Dita’, ‘Guming’, ‘Polihem’, ‘Poliolchem’ have a basic requirement, and that is to prosecute the participants of ‘criminal privatization’, and to get their claims. They are demanding from the Tuzla Canton Assembly to pay disadvantaged workers their health insurance and to form a Tuzla Canton government, and they gave them a deadline by next Wednesday.
Workers of these companies have not received their salaries for months and are at the Employment Bureau, and regarding the introduction of employment status, they said that currently they could dream about it. Employees of the company ˝Integra Engineering’ from Tuzla, ˝Rudar Invest˝ from Banovići and hotel ‘Tuzla’ are in the same position, and they have also joined the peaceful protests. The Tuzla company ˝Integra Engineering’ is in bankruptcy for already eight years.
‘’Property was sold two and a half years ago after bankruptcy proceedings. We managed to introduce employment status to people. However, no former employee who retired has received severance pay. However, we have accurately determined that 520.000 BAM have been stolen from the company. The Court allowed the banktruptcy manager to embezzle this amount. Now we are seeking to pay the workers what they deserve’’, said former employee of this company AlijaDjedović.
Workers from the company ‘Rudar Invest’ from Banovići are skeptical regarding bankruptcy, in which their company finds itself since December last year. They are owed eight salaries, and employment status has not been introduced for the past 15 years. They decided for bankruptcy because they did not have an income, but said that from all of this they do not expect almost anything because bankruptcy is unnatural for workers. However, they note that they will fight for their rights because they want to get their claims, and that nothing belongs to the state because the state is guilty for the situation in which they find themselves.
The first step is the realization of the rights of the formation of a new union. Last Wednesday, employees of the companies began to sign acts on the basis of which a new union called ‘Solidarnost’ will be created.
Currently underway is the formation of a list of companies that are willing to enter into a new union in order to negotiate in the coming period in the way in which to operate. Workers from the areas of all other cantons in the FB&H will join the union.