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Employees of Montenegro’s oldest daily newspaper, “Pobjeda” (“Victory”) have begun a strike to protest against unpaid wages.
Employees from the paper who worked in the printing department refused to print newspapers last night and some of the journalists from the newsroom joined them too.
This is the first time that the oldest newspaper in Montenegro has not appeared on the stands since it was first published in October 1944 .
One of the journalists of Pobjeda , who wished to remain anonymous, told Balkan Insight that workers were forced to enter into strike, adding that soon all colleagues in the newsroom would likely to join the strike.
“The management owes us five salaries as well as all benefits which goes with that five salaries. We tried to reach an agreement with management, but there was simply no understanding for our problems. We won’t give up from our requirements and we will not start to work until management pay our wages”, the journalist of Pobjeda noted.
He stressed that the workers understood the difficult financial situation in which the company is, but indicated that workers can not be slaves who work without pay
Pobjeda currently has 240 employees, and ended the last financial year €10.5 million in debt.
The management of Pobjeda released a statement describing the strike as “a direct obstruction of the work”.
“[The] Strike will have disastrous consequences for the company, especially since it would bring into question the concept that, according to all analysis, guarantees professional, economic and social revitalization of Pobjeda. We invite all colleagues to stop the strike,” the management wrote in a statement.
The Montenegrin Government announced the opening of a third tender for sale of 86 per cent of the company’s shares on September 27th and it will remain open until November 10th.
Two previous tenders, which the Government announced in 2009 and 2007 failed.
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