Home Page
news 07 Aug 12

Ex Bosnian Employees Say NATO Owes Them Money

Around 70 former NATO employees in Bosnia claim that the international organization owes them contributions for health and pension insurance while NATO says the opposite.

Elvira M. Jukic

Some of the former employees of NATO headquarters in Bosnia staged a protest in front of the main entrance of the base on August 6, saying that their former employer owes them several years worth of health and pensions contributions.

Most of them started working for NATO right after the war, in 1995 and 1996, and say that during their first ten years of working for the organisation, they did not get any rights from their employer.

“From 2000 to 2006 they did not pay me contributions for pension and health care insurance,” said Fikreta Podrug, “But later on they did.”

She told Balkan Insight that the total estimated amount of money she claims NATO owes her is between 30,000-50,000 KM [15-25.000 euros], adding that the amount differs from person to person, due to different lengths of service.

Nijaz Music, who was a driver for 16 years, first for NATO and then for the armed forces of the European Union, EUFOR, said that in his contract and those of his fellow Bosnians who started working after the war, it was stated that the employees ought to pay their pension and health care contributions, but later on they realized that NATO was supposed to do that.

“If we did not sign these contracts we would have lost our jobs and it was a difficult period after the war,” Music said, “In 2007 when we were transferred to EUFOR our contracts did not change at all, but they did pay all of our contributions.”

Most of the former NATO employees were made redundant at the end of last year due to budget cuts.

“We demand our rights from the employment relationship, and that means recognition for our years of service, holiday pay, hot meals,” Music said, “The special conditions under which we worked should be recognised also, as I worked as a driver, and only wore a t-shirt while I drove a bus, and they all had full army equipment. There were still shootings around here.”

The laid off personnel said they were formerly too afraid to demand their rights, as they are doing now, since they were afraid of losing their jobs if they complained.

“They came here to show us what democracy is but it is the dirtiest employer in Bosnia, and my name is Music Nijaz, and I say this in public here,” he added.

The disgruntled former employees worked mostly as drivers, cooks, cleaning personnel and room maids and they say their salaries were usually around 600 KM [325 euros] per month with an extra payment for hot meals of 300 KM [150 euros].

NATO headquarters in Bosnia said in a press release on Monday that they always met their obligations as an employer and that they had already refused to make any additional contributions.

The organization also said that all of their current employees are properly registered with pension funds in Bosnia and that it makes all the necessary contributions.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

26 Jun 17

Far-Right Croatian NGO to Honour Ustasa Commander

A marginal far-right NGO announced it will put up a plaque honouring Jure Francetic, the commander of a Croatian World War II fascist Ustasa unit responsible for large-scale crimes against Serbs and Jews.

26 Jun 17

The Balkans Today: 26th June - 30th June 2017

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results

25 Jun 17

LIVE: Albanian General Elections 2017

Premium Selection

26 Jun 17

Bosnia’s Ex-Refugees Use Language Skills in Call Centres

When German-speaking clients get through to a call centre, there is a good chance that the operator on the other end of the line is a Bosnian who found refuge in Germany during the 1992-5 war.

26 Jun 17

Serbia’s New PM Likely to Stay in Vucic’s Shadow

While Ana Brnabic awaits confirmation in parliament as Serbia’s new Prime Minister, experts say the real decisions will continue to be taken by her patron, President Aleksandar Vucic.

23 Jun 17

Albania Enjoys Calmest Ever Election Campaign

23 Jun 17

Romanian Top Filmmakers Fight for Reform

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results