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IndustriALL stands with unions in Bosnia-Herzegovina fighting for industrial fairness

17 February, 2014IndustriALL Global Union applauds workers and others who have risen up in anger in Bosnia & Herzegovina over economic frustration and exclusion from a failing system run by the political and business elite.

IndustriALL Global Union also calls attention to the courageous industrial workers at several once-proud enterprises in Tuzla Canton that initiated this month’s social protests, and hopes all trade unions of Bosnia & Herzegovina will follow and engage in peaceful protests to realign the social order in the Balkan nation. 

“The seed now germinating across Bosnia & Herzegovina is one of anger brought by hunger and impoverishment due to lost jobs, unpaid salaries, and a new generation without opportunity,” said IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina. “It is encouraging that trade unions inside encourage open and peaceful dissent to take on social dumping, social disenfranchisement, and soaring social inequality.”

Bosnia & Herzegovina, with a population of 3.8 million, currently has one in five citizens living in poverty. It has an unemployment rate of over 40%, and worse, the youth jobless rate is 57%. IndustriALL blames the system of 15 years ago, when neo-liberal industrialisation was privatised, creating a dangerous class of profiteers who colluded with government officials to downsize, close, and asset-strip, leaving in its wake poverty and unemployment.

IndustriALL Global Union is encouraged by spontaneous social protests across Bosnia & Herzegovina, spurred largely through social media, and calls for citizens to unite across all ethnic boundaries to forge a society based on fairness, justice, and openness to all.

IndustriALL Global Union congratulates the industrial workers at these and other failed Tuzla Canton enterprises for inspiring workers both inside and out of Bosnia & Herzegovina with street actions demanding change: Soap and detergent maker Dita, chemical producers Polihem D.D. and Polilchem D.D.O., motor parts manufacturer Resod Guming, and kitchen, office, school furniture producer Koinjuh D.D.