While the management of the Uljanik Group analyzes the names of the potential investors in the restructuring of the Uljanik and May Third shipyards, union leaders were busy preparing documents outlining the demands of workers for the new strategic partner - namely, the guaranteeing jobs.
They say the document will provide the foundation of a future collective bargaining agreement. But most importantly, unions want guarantees that workers' salaries will be paid in full.
"We're telling workers that February 10th would be a rough deadline whereby they can expect to receive at least part of their salaries. If, for example, there are no payments made by the end of February, there will be no workers left and there will be nothing at Uljanik worth saving," said union leader Boris Cerovac.
Workers are fearful that the arrival of a court-appointed temporary bankruptcy trustee on Friday will lead to the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings and spell the end for the troubled shipyard in Pula. Meanwhile, management, union leaders, and the Ministry of Economy are confident that will not happen.
The restructuring of the Uljanik Group will not be easy and is expected to cost around 800 million euros; with the strategic partner expected to provide at least half that amount. Finance Minister Zdravko Marić underscored on Wednesday that Croatian taxpayers had already given two-and-a-half billion kunas to cover guarantees for ships that are no longer being built. He added that taxpayers would be getting bills for millions more in 2019.
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