Because of the allegedly poor working conditions, unpaid wages and overtime work, the seven workers, who went on strike at the Turkish textile factory Kaizen in Smederevo, were fired, while the employer is charged with committing a minor offense.
The company was charged following an extraordinary inspection of its production facilities. But what about the working conditions? The inspection claims that they are not as bad as the dismissed workers claim them to be.
What is really going on in Kaizen’s factory? Who exactly treats workers as slaves? Is it true that the employees eat right next to the toilet and that they are denied meals if they make mistakes in sewing? Several of them told this the president of the Sloga trade union, but the reporters from N1 television station were not able to corroborate these statements after several days of trying.
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“In addition to working for a very low salary, which is 25,000 dinars, they are exposed to various types of mobbing, torture, insults, sexual harassment, and so on, on a daily basis. There are 300 women who use only one toilet, 50 men use a toilet in the locker room which is located immediately next to the table they use to have lunch,” said Zeljko Veselinovic, president of the Sloga trade union.
The inspection did take pictures of the allegedly bad working conditions at the factory, showing there are two toilets for women and two for men at the production facility, and other two at the administrative building.
When N1 asked Srdjan Djurovic, Director of the Labour Inspectorate, whether it was possible that the workers staged these conditions prior to the inspection’s arrival, he says that it is impossible to do that overnight.
It is interesting to note the whole time that the factory is in operation, there hasn’t been a single complaint made on the account of the working conditions, salaries or anything else, until the last day of the strike at Kaizen.
The strike happened on 11th May, because, according to the workers, they were not paid for overtime and working on Saturdays, in the last six months. Furthermore, their regular monthly salaries were late. Five of the loudest workers got fired, and the employer, obviously under pressure, decided to settle all that they owed to the workers in one day.
“Due to this employer’s omission, the labour inspectors will file a motion for the employer to be charged with a minor offense,” Djurovic said.
(Nova Ekonomija, 25.05.2018)
This post is also available in: Italiano