21 May, 2014All IndustriALL trade union affiliates of BIH (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Serbia and Croatia have members in the area affected by the worst floods since records began in the region 120 years ago.
Damage is being assessed and urgent relief efforts are continuing, as the water level starts to recede there is still great risk from unexploded landmines left over from the Balkans conflict of the 1990s, as well as from water surges and landslides. The total death count is expected to rise but currently stands at 35.
IndustriALL Global Union has expressed sincere sympathy and solidarity with members and their communities in the three affected countries, and offers any assistance possible now and going forward.
We stand with you in your time of need, dear sisters and brothers. Please count on full solidarity and support from your global union and sister unions from around the world.
Kata Iveljic, president of the Chemistry and Non-Metals union of BIH, reports that the flood has affected 1,000,000 people in Bosnia & Herzegovina living in the flooded area.
Teuta Krilic from IndustriALL's South East Europe's sub-regional office in Zagreb reports:
“In Croatia the disaster is affecting the areas near the Sava River, where about 15,000 people got evacuated from their homes, and people are still in danger. Cities of Slavonski Brod and Zupanja are the worst affected, and numerous villages are being evacuated. The Sava River is a natural border between Bosnia and Croatia, and it flooded on both banks.
“The landslides are extremely dangerous because of the remaining landmines. There have been more than 2,000 landslides and an estimated 120,000 landmines remain in BIH. The problem exists also in Croatia but on a much lower scale."
In Serbia, the main power plant Obrenovac is at great risk, surrounded by water. Members of the EPS union operate the power plant.
Many people are still stuck in their homes waiting for rescue teams to get to them.
IndustriALL member unions are coordinating relief efforts and supporting their affected members.
SURERS of Bosnia & Herzegovina has donated 20,000 KM (about 10,000 euros) to the affected people.
The Chemistry and Non-Metal union of FBIH have distributed relief supplies to their affected members also to the value of 20,000 KM (about 10,000 euros).
GS IER Nezavisnost, Serbia - Galenika company has donated medicines and other essential supplies.
Company Djuro Djakovic (strong SMH-IS membership, Croatia) sent machinery to help raise flood barriers.
Once the floodwaters are eventually cleared there will be huge challenges facing the affected communities to reconstruct infrastructure, homes, farms and businesses.