Corner Press release

The Kriva Palanka Primary Court rules in favor of KADORO OTTO workers 11 December 2017

The Primary Court in Kriva Palanka on 25/10/2017 ruled in favour of a suit filed by 105 female and male textile workers employed at the Kriva Palanka based DPČT KADORO OTTO DOOEL export-import. The Court ordered the employer against whom the suit was filed, to pay the female and male workers a total of 1,430,856.00 MKD, an outstanding amount for compensation of wages for February 2017, the due benefits to the Pension Insurance Fund of the RM, health insurance benefits, employment benefits and personal income tax to the Public Revenue Office, including the legal interest rates accrued due to non-payment of the wages.

The defendant submitted an appeal to the Skopje Appellate Court appealingthe decision of the Kriva Palanka Primary Court.

Following information provided by employees of KADORO OTTO, theHelsinki Committee for Human rightsinitiated this case in March 2017 by submitting a request to the State Labor Inspectorate for performing inspection oversight. The request urged the Inspectorate to establish whether or not the employer has made payment to its employees of due wages and benefit contributions for the months of December 2016 and January 2017. Pursuant to this request the State Labor Inspectorate performed its inspection oversight via its Regional Office in Kriva Palanka and found that the employer did make payment of wages and social benefit contributions for its employees for December 2016, and failed to make payment for January 2017. In accordance with the established factual situation during the inspection oversight, the authorized inspector in charge issued an order to the employer and its officer in charge to amend this irregularity, i.e. to make payment of the due wages and benefit contributions to its employees for the month of January of 2017, no later than 8 days after the conclusion of the inspection oversight. Since the employer failed to act according to the orders issued by the State Labor Inspectorate, the Helsinki Committee requested for extension of the procedure following the conclusion of the on-sight inspection urging the State Labor Inspectorate to initiate an infringement procedure against the employer. After completing an additional inspection oversight, the State Labor Inspectorate issued against the employer aninfringement order with a mandatory fine, which was duly paid by the employer.

Since the employer by the end of March 2017 failed to make payment of the wages and benefits for the month of February 2017, 105 employees of KADORO OTTO with the support of the Helsinki Committee decided to take the employer to court for failing to make payment of their wages and benefits for January and February 2017. In May 2017, after the employer made late payments of the January wage and benefits, its employees initiated a court procedure against the employer for failing to make payment of the February 2017 wages and benefits.

Even though the decision of the Kriva Palanka Primary Court has yet to become final, we nevertheless welcome it. We also welcome the move of the empowered textile female and male workers of KADORO OTTO who sought judicial protection of their workers’ rights and we hereby urge all female and male textile, leather and shoe workers to report any violation of their rights and seek protection of their workers’ rights.

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