Forklift Trucks from Flooded Slavonia Still in Demand

Total Croatia News

An economic good news story from Slavonia. 

A rare bright spot in the economic bleakness of the eastern part of Županjska Posavina region, which was further set back by the catastrophic floods in May 2014, is certainly Gutić company from Gunja which sells forklifts. It has been operating successfully for 22 years and has sold its forklifts to Germany and many neighbouring countries, reports Glas Slavonije on January 22, 2016. The extreme weather event in 2014 flooded all company plants, including as many as 63 machines which were heavily damaged. The water soaked and ruined everything, but the owner Zdravko Gutić points out that he was not ready to give up. He was aware that he must not lose contracts with his business partners, since that would make the damage much larger. “Today we work as we did before the floods, we have even hired two new workers and expanded our business. Our foreign partner gives us enough orders, so we are always operating at maximum capacity. Now we have 15 employees”, said Gutić.

He adds that direct damages to the company itself were between five and six million kuna, but that the indirect damage, the fact that they did not work for a month and that it took three months to renovate the plants and refurbish the machines, was much higher. “Buildings and other assets are valuable, but not as valuable as the company brand, business partners and references which we have gained”, he said.

Although the company’s assets were insured, he has not received a penny from the insurance company. “It is inconceivable to me that someone in such a situation can be so unfair. They came here twenty times, we took photos of machines in the mud, they saw that everything was destroyed. I finally received their answer that we have no right to any compensation”, said Gutić. The company paid for the damage itself. And there was no promised government assistance to entrepreneurs in the reconstruction of the flood-damaged property.

“Except for 25,000 kuna per employee and subsidies by the Ministry of Labour which financed a part of wages and contributions, we have not received any assistance from the state. I have contacted the ITVZ company which is in charge of managing construction projects, and I was told that five major companies including ours have been left for the end of the process. This was back in July of last year and until now no one has sent us any reply. I no longer have the will or the power to call them and ask anything”, added Gutić, who could serve as an example to many employers in Croatia. Salaries are always paid on the 1st day of the month, and his employees regularly receive Easter and Christmas bonuses, holiday allowances, and other benefits.


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