ZAGREB, August 24, 2018 – The striking council of the Rijeka-based 3.Maj shipyard, that held a meeting on Friday, said that union stewards in the Pula-based Uljanik dock and in the Rijeka shipyard decided to depart for Zagreb on Monday as part of their plans to intensify their protest actions which they started on Wednesday over unpaid wages for July.
One of union leaders, Boris Bučanac, said after the striking council’s meeting that the chairman of the 3.Maj shipyard union, Maksimilijan Percan, would likely join them.
On Wednesday, employees of the Uljanik Group, that includes the dock in Pula and 3. Maj shipyard in Rijeka, started their industrial action demanding the payment of late wages and the resignation of the management board.
Bučanac said today that Zagreb, that is Government House, was the only place where they could get answers to their questions and that they would not leave the capital city until they were provided with the answers. He also called on the government to exert pressure on the Uljanik Group management until the resolution of the current problems.
Bučanac said that they were supposed to finally decide whether they would treat the shipbuilding as a strategic economic activity.
Percan spoke about scenarios for settling the situation in 3. Maj , explaining that “a direction is being taken toward the separation of 3. Maj from Uljanik.”
Employees of the Uljanik Group, who have been on a strike for three days over unpaid wages, on Friday held a protest march through the centre of Pula, and shouted insults against the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), which is in power in the town and in Istria County.
During the protest walk, the disgruntled workers stopped outside the Town Council and demanded that Mayor Boris Miletić, who is the IDS leader, should receive them or address them, but he failed to do that.
Some of the protesters shouted “IDS are Thieves!”, “Mafia!”, and some were vocal in expressing disagreement with plans that businessman Danko Končar and his Kermas company might become a strategic partner of the ailing Uljanik Group.
After that they proceeded towards the building housing the authorities of Istria County, and Prefect Valter Flego (IDS) addressed them saying that “All of us are on your side, it is the state government that should ensure money.”
On Thursday evening Economy Minister Darko Horvat said that neither Končar nor the Uljanik management were offering for the time being any solution how to ensure funds for the payment of the wages in arrears. “A model which is currently proposed by Mr. Končar as a strategic partner is not the assistance in the form of cash for Uljanik, and this proposal does not include any sort of a loan that could serve as the source for the payment of the salaries in the shipyards Uljanik and 3. Maj,” the minister said in Zagreb after he held separate meetings with the Uljanik Group management chairman, Gianni Rossanda, and businessman Končar.
Asked by the press if going into receivership could be an option for the Uljanik Group, the minister answered in the affirmative and added that pre-bankruptcy proceedings could also be considered.
In the ownership structure of the Uljanik dock, employees and small shareholders hold about 47% of the interest, the Croatia Osiguranje insurer has 9.93% and 7.7% is being held by the Croatian Pension Insurance Fund (HZMO) etc.