February 16, 2018

Support for employees at Veibo Group

The Helsinki Committee of Human Rights expresses its support for 200 male and female workers who have been on strike for 15 days due to failure of the Veibo Group textile factory to pay their salaries and contributions. Namely, as the Association Glasen Tekstilec (en: Loud Textile Worker) from Štip has learnt, this factory failed to pay its workers their salaries and contributions and has announced that they will be dismissed. According to information disclosed by Glasen Tekstilec, breach of workers’ rights at this company already began a year and a half ago when pregnant women were fired, there were cases of mobbing and failure to pay overtime work, including agreements up to a month that clearly informed workers that this type of behaviour on behalf of the employer was a disciplinary effect, so that no one attempted to raise their voice against this breach of their basic human and labour rights. The situation culminated in December 2017, when the management switched off the electricity in the factory and about 100 workers’ labour contracts were not renewed. Workers used their right to strike and demanded their ever late salaries, in the amount up to 10 000 MKD to be paid; this also disclosed the fact that company also violated the law on minimal salary. Workers were sent to collective annual leave at mid-January and the company announced that other workers would continue with work on February 1. However this did not happen, but on the contrary workers were informed by the managers on January 31, that the factory would close down and that the management had no money to pay workers their salaries and contributions for November and December 2017, and for January 2018, even though, according to the workers, the factory worked well and proceeded with regular export.

The Helsinki Committee appeals to the State Labour Inspectorate to perform unscheduled inspection supervision as official duty, in order to identify irregularities and errors at the employer and to impose an obligation for the employer to pay the above stated salaries and contributions to male and female workers.