Serbian workers on hunger strike
290 workers at a battery producing factory went on strike on the 11th of May to protest against unpaid wages. The workers at the Fabrika Akumulatora Sombor report that they have not been paid neither wages nor travel allowances for several months.
The strike is supported by the Trade Union of Metal Workers Serbia. An arbitration commission proposed a settlement that was turned down by the owner of the factory. The owner has offered to pay half a salary which is unacceptable for the workers. The director of the factory also informed the workers on strike that they would be fired. But the employees contacted the labour inspectorate which warned the director that this is against the law.
Angered by the situation, several workers went on a hunger strike a week ago but terminated this on June 10th when the union organized a massive protest in front of the factory to demonstrate their support.
The Trade Union of Metal Workers Serbia are engaged in a project with IF Metall Östergötland and the Olof Palme International Center. The Trade Union of Metal Workers Serbia and the other project partners took part in the protest on June 10th.
Within the next 30 days the arbitration commission will make their final decision on how to resolve this strike and until then workers are determined to continue to put their demands forward.
The battery producer Fabrika Akumulatora Sombor became a part of the corporate group Farmakom in 2006, following a privatization process.
Text: Emira Mesanovic, programme coordinator Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.