In the Austrian company Strabag, which was entrusted by the state and the City of Belgrade, with works on Republic Square and the Vista building within Belgrade Waterfront, a labor inspection found 42 illegal workers this year, while Turkish company Tasjapi was “caught” with 53 undeclared workers.
In both cases, both the Tasjapi and Strabag companies, the Labor Inspectorate filed one misdemeanor charge, according to a “black” list of employers published by the Ministry of Labor on its website.
The list of employers who, during the first eight months of this year, namely in the period from 3rd January to 4th September at some point employed undeclared workers, contains 2,170 employers and entrepreneurs, and the biggest violations were made by the mentioned construction companies.
One misdemeanor charge was filed against Strabag, and undeclared workers were found at control of construction site of the IKEA department store. And while in one Ministry, among the “blackened”, in another Ministry, the Strabag Construction is run as an employer without error. Thus, the company is 11th on the list of “good” employers published by the Ministry of Construction at the end of June. According to the Ministry’s rating, Strabag is a desirable investor because there are no negative points, it employs 156 workers, of which more than 73 percent are employed indefinitely.
Another company on the work inspection blacklist is a foreign company, Turkish investor Tasjapi came to Serbia at the end of December last year with the intention of building apartments for security personnel in Nis and Vranje. The state also entrusted the same company with the job of constructing and designing a part of the highway from Belgrade to Sarajevo, worth 250 million euros. The Minister of Construction announced the beginning of construction of this road for 2020 and stressed that this company will also work on the reconstruction of the Novi Pazar – Tutin road.
Shortly afterwards, Tasjapi came into focus when he was apprehended in March by a company director in Vranje along with CIP workers on suspicion of corruption. According to “Insider” at the time, CIP officials and the director of Tasjapi asked for money from the Vranje Water Supply Director to hire him as a subcontractor to build apartments for security personnel. An insider also wrote that, prior to his arrival in Serbia, six years ago, the owner of this firm, Emrulah Turanli, was arrested in Turkey for corruption.
Company “On line international” from Belgrade, at the time of the workplace inspection, there were as many as 45 undeclared workers, 35 undeclared workers were found at “Zdravo natural” from Paracin and 33 at “M enterijeri gradnja” from Vozdovac, which the inspection found at the Kopaonik construction site. In the rich portfolio of this company from Vozdovac there is, among other things, the Paunov breg complex on Banjica, Kopaonik resort, but also part of Corridor 11 from Lajkovac to Lig.
Among the non-conscientious employers are some other state-owned firms, including five security firms, which employed a total of nine undeclared workers on Corridor 10. Although there are many black listed entrepreneurs running the hospitality or textile industry where one to two workers are most often caught by inspection, the most obvious problem is in the construction sector.
The president of the Independent Trade Union of Construction Workers Sasa Torlakovic tells our newspaper that from the beginning, the problem is that the Ministry of Construction does not care that the workers are undeclared or whether the employer pays their workers.
“The Ministry of Labor seems to be doing a better job, because the Ministry of Construction obviously does not care if construction companies pay workers or hire them because these are not the criteria on their list. We also have an example of MBA Miljkovic, who found two undeclared workers, and he is still not on the black list of this Ministry” – Torlaković points out.
He claims that no one will bear the consequences because of this and that all these firms continue to receive government jobs.
He also says that the black and white lists are pure political marketing for President of the Serbian Chamber of Construction Goran Rodic, and that the deteriorating situation in this sector will not improve until expert people come to the decisive positions.
“It is well known what a company should have in order to get a business; references, solvency, human and mechanical resources. Businesses are now getting companies that can’t even get on the list because they have officially one, two to three employees. The domestic construction industry has been destroyed and we are yet to see what awaits us” – says Rodic.
“A big problem is the lack of workers, which, he says, leads to employment of unskilled people and as a result we have the poor quality of everything, both flats and highways. That is why it is necessary to rebuild this part of the domestic economy, and as part of this rebuilding – the formation of an independent Ministry of Construction lead by the skilled personnel.”
Pregnant and maternity rights violated by 11 employers
In addition to the list of employers employing undeclared workers, two more lists were published on the Ministry of Labour website, one with 218 unregistered companies, most of which received a work ban and a list of 11 employers who violated the rights of pregnant women and pregnant women from the end of July to the beginning of September this year.