Rovčanin demands rights for "Vektra Jakić" workers as well

Nikola Rovčanin will advocate for amendments to the Law on the Compensation of Workers in the Metal Industry, as well as a review of the privatization of the Pljeval company, after which the employees lost their jobs...

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The consequences are catastrophic: Rovčanin, Photo: BORIS PEJOVIC
The consequences are catastrophic: Rovčanin, Photo: BORIS PEJOVIC

Member of Democratic Montenegro Nikola Rovčanin announced that he would initiate amendments to the Law on the Compensation of Workers in the Metal Industry, so that workers in the wood processing industry would also be covered by that law.

Rovčanin also told "Vijesta" that the privatization of the former Pljeval company "Velimie Jakić", which was bought by a businessman from Podgorica, should be reconsidered. Dragan Brkovic, but also how the workers were left without actions.

By law, the payment of 12.000 in four semi-annual installments was made possible to former workers from metal-mining companies, whose ownership structure was the state and whose employment relationship ended due to the introduction of bankruptcy in the companies.

"It is appropriate, responsible, solidary and fair to amend the law on indemnification of workers in the metal industry, so that workers in the wood processing industry can exercise the same rights. In addition, an analysis of the shareholder rights of the employees, which were denied at the time, is needed," Rovčanin said.

Recently, "Vektra Jakić" was declared bankrupt due to large debts.

"During the privatization process, the employees' actions also failed. A total of 326 workers owned shares in the company 'Velimir Jakić'. "Not to mention the 529 employees who lost their jobs due to the opening of bankruptcy proceedings," Rovčanin said.

He points out that Brković's company "Vektra Montenegro" bought the Pljeval company for 1,6 million euros.

"On May 18, 2006, the Government of Montenegro adopted a decision writing off the debts of the privatized corporation 'Jakić' in the amount of 1,5 million euros to the state and state-owned enterprises, and thus the new owner was completely freed from the debt. Thus, the factory was practically given as a gift. Today, the company 'Vektra Jakić', on which bankruptcy proceedings have been opened, owes more than 130 million euros to banks, the tax administration, employees, the Municipality of Pljevlja, EPCG, and numerous private companies. This is a picture of one privatization of a powerful wood processing giant that was bought for practically 100.000 euros with forest concessions for a period of 30 years. The consequences of this arrangement are disastrous. "Workers on the street, no production for 20 years, accumulated debts, which overall reflected on the demographic picture of Pljevlja," Rovčanin points out.

In addition, as he states, Montenegro annually imports about 60 million pieces of furniture and final products made of wood, and exports 30 million rounds of unprocessed wood, which, as he stated, due to the decade-long stagnation of the wood processing industry, produced a huge foreign trade deficit in this area.

"The new government and the parliament have an obligation to comprehensively and thoroughly review this process, from the privatization process onwards. And above all, to at least partially correct the injustice done to the workers whose actions failed and who were sent to the street without any rights. Starting the wood processing industry through a model of healthy privatization and a credible investor would have implications for the creation of hundreds of new jobs, the new economic value of the state, the reduction of the foreign trade deficit and the beginning of remediation of the bad demographic image of the north of Montenegro," said Rovčanin.

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