Home Page
news 05 Feb 14

Redundant Bosnian Workers Protest in Tuzla

There were clashes with police as hundreds of people who worked at five big companies that went bust after privatisation demonstrated for compensation and called on Tuzla officials to intervene.

Elvira M. Jukic

The protesters rallied on Wednesday in front of the cantonal government building in the north-eastern Bosnian town, calling for compensation and repayments of healthcare and pensions payments after the privatised companies for which they worked failed.  

Local media reports said that some protesters scuffled with police after breaking into the cantonal government building, while others set garbage containers and tyres on fire.

Around 10 people are reported to have been hospitalised after the clashes, including both police and protesters, most of them with head injuries caused by rocks that were thrown.

“We will block the Tuzla Canton government and we will not let them go out [of the building]. They should do their jobs or resign,” one of the protesters told local media.

 “We are not to blame that the companies are not working,” another said.

Protesters also demanded that the authorities ensure that 1,000 jobs are kept open at detergent company Dita and furniture company Konjuh, two of the failed firms.

Also at the rally were workers from Polihem, which produced salt for industrial use, chemical company Poliochem and gum company Resod Guming, as well a local association for the unemployed, students and others.

Officials from the cantonal government did not meet the protesters but said in a written statement on Wednesday that they were aware of the problems that the workers were facing and that they were ready for a dialogue, but the issues were being discussed with union representatives.

“Those companies are in different statuses; Dita is a private company in a pre-bankruptcy process which after privatisation was sold by the workers, as owners of the capital, to [another company called] Lora. Konjuh also works with 100 per cent private capital,” the statement said.

The cantonal government said that because the companies are now private, the workers address their current owners.

“It is easy to see that these are problems created 10 or more years ago which this government tried to solve in the last three years,” it said.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus


22 Oct 14

Unrest Returns to Birthplace of Bosnia Protests

Protesting workers in Tuzla are calling for the resignation of the cantonal government that was appointed after the February protests.

23 Jul 14

Bosnia to Decide Fate of 'Negligent' Spy Chief

Goran Zubac, head of Bosnia's State Investigative and Protection Agency, faces possible sacking on Wednesday in relation to his conduct in the February protests - after being denied access to secret data.

20 Jun 14

Bosnia Investigative Agency Chief’s Protest Charge Confirmed

Goran Zubac, the director of the State Investigation and Protection Agency, was indicted for failing to protect the presidency building which was torched during protest unrest in February.

09 Jun 14

Bosnia’s Investigative Agency Chief Indicted Over Protests

Goran Zubac, the director of the State Investigative and Protection Agency, was charged with failing to deal with violent unrest during mass protests in Bosnia in February.

09 May 14

Protest Marchers Pile Pressure on Bosnia's Federation Govt

Several hundred people staged protest marches from various Bosnian towns to Sarajevo, where they demanded the resignation of the Federation entity government.

29 Apr 14

Bosnian Security Minister Axed Over Protests

The Bosnian parliament's House of Peoples on Tuesday confirmed the dismissal of Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic, citing his responsibility for the unrest in February.

10 Apr 14

Plenums Tell Bosnia Federation Govt to Quit

The 'plenum of all plenums', meeting in Sarajevo, demanded the resignation of the Federation entity government as well as a review of all privatization agreements.

08 Apr 14

Bosnia Court Frees Two Alleged Arsonists

A Bosnian Court has abolished custody for two persons suspected of terrorism for having allegedly set fire to the Bosnian Presidency building during the February 7 protests.

04 Apr 14

Rock Band Urges Bosnians to Keep Protests Alive

Sarajevans enjoyed a surprise concert by Dubioza Kolektiv, a popular band, whose members urged them to keep up street protests and support the newly formed civic plenums.

27 Mar 14

Tuzla Gets New Govt After Mass Protests

After the governments of four of Bosnia's cantons quit in the wake of the mass protests in February, one of them, Tuzla, finally has a new government.


The ‘Bosnian Spring’ Starts With a Bang

The Bosnian protests are the result of years of corruption, economic decay and in-fighting among ethno-political elites, but it is far from certain that they can bring real change.