The company “Mila tekstil” from Prijedor made a decision on liquidation. The reason, they say, is the increase of the minimum wage to 900 marks. For the owner of the company, this decision of the Government is unreasonable, while the relevant ministry says that the standard of workers must be raised to a higher level, and that they will not withdraw the decision to increase the minimum wage.
Sewing machines are not working, 40 workers have been sent home. The company “Mila tekstil” from Prijedor put the key in the lock, and they asked the District Commercial Court to assign them a liquidation administrator. They claim that they cannot comply with the RS Government’s decision to increase the minimum wage to BAM 900.
“There would be a solution to reduce it to 800 BAM, where we might get away with it and it would be a shame if all these machines and this plant stop and go to scrap,” said Mile Popović, owner of the company “Mila Tekstil”.
While the business community warns that the path of this company will be followed by others, the Federation of Trade Unions of the RS says that the behavior of the employers is rather arrogant and directed against the workers, through whom they make a profit. When it comes to the mentioned company from Prijedor, they claim that their business was negative last year as well, and that the increase in the minimum wage is just an excuse for closure.
“He who cannot provide the worker who works for him in his company with a salary that the worker can survive on in the 21st century, that company should be closed. You either survive on the market or you don’t,” says Ranka Mišić, president of the Union of Trade Unions of the RS.
The minimum wage was increased in order to raise the standard of domestic workers and prevent the importation of foreign workers, according to the relevant ministry.
“It’s my fault that everything is taken out of context and that everything turns into negative connotations. Of course it’s not like that. The government takes care of these workers, the government tries to create an environment here so that these people do not leave”, says Danijel Egić, Minister of Labor and Veterans and Disability Protection of the RS (SNSD).
The increase in the minimum wage in the RS also caused numerous price increases, even for bread and basic foodstuffs. Citizens are indignant, employers say they are forced to take that step, and trade unionists believe that the decision to increase the minimum wage is being abused. They repeat that they will not give up on the demand that it be 1,000 marks.