2,000 Montenegrin Steelworkers on Strike
Podgorica | 19 January 2010 | Bojana Barlovac
Some 2,000 workers at the Montenegrin steelworks compay Niksicka Zeljezara started protesting on the streets of Niksic on Monday due to unpaid salaries and the termination of production at the company.
In an interview with Montenegrin daily Dan, the president of the union of the company's employees, Janko Vuicinic, said that the employees will not give up the strike and that they are ready to block roads and to hold strikes in Podgorica if officials do not respond to their requests quickly.
"If we decide to go to Podgorica it would be one way, as we are not going back to the factory unless they return us there. Otherwise, those who decide our destinies will not keep their posts," Vucinic said while addressing an audience at the protest in Niksic.
The workers reportedly requested their unpaid salaries be paid and the relaunching of production, which was stopped in early October last year because the majority owner of Niksicka Zeljezara - the British company Montenegro Speciality Steels, MNSS - began experiencing financial difficulties. The last salary paid was in October, when production stopped.
Besides regular payment of salaries, MNSS was supposed to pledge investment worth 117 million euro, according to the sales contract.
According to Beta news agency, production will restart in spring, when the new electric arc furnace is to be installed. Employees, however, have expressed doubts about the plan.