Uljanik, Pula (Photo: Dusko Marusic/PIXSELL) Uljanik, Pula (Photo: Dusko Marusic/PIXSELL)

The president of the Adriatic Trade Union, Boris Cerovac, spoke at a press conference in Pula on Tuesday, and called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and his ministers to apply the same rules to the Uljanik shipyard that it has at other Croatian shipyards.

Cerovac welcomed the government's decision to try to save the Treći maj shipyard in Rijeka from receivership, but said he was dissatisfied with the way he feels Uljanik has been neglected.

"I wish Treći maj all the best," said Cerovac, "I want the workers there to continue working." At the same time, the union leader said he didn't want the Croatian government to continue treating Uljanik the way they've been doing over the past year. "They're trying to stamp us out", he said, "and force our workers onto the streets."

Cerovac also criticized local politicians in Istra County, primarily the Istrian Democratic Assembly, accusing them of not looking out for the interests of their constituents.

Samir Hadžić, a member of Uljanik's creditors council and a former member of the shipyard's Supervisory Board, described the prime minister's visit to the shipyard in Rijeka as little more than show, claiming that the government's criteria for determining which shipyards should be saved, and which to let go, was based purely on political interests.

Hadžić also said the government's decision to turn their back on Uljanik made no economic sense, noting that Uljanik had built 60 percent of the ships in Croatia over the past 30 years, and that there were public offers to build five new cruisers. He concluded that if the government were to react urgently and seize those opportunities, Uljanik could restart production and revive the shipbuilding tradition in Pula.

Uljanik was forced into receivership following months of blocked accounts over unpaid debts. A number of top level managers and the director of the Uljanik Group, Gianni Rossanda, were arrested under suspicion of a litany of white collar crimes.

Source: HRT