News & Analysis

Bosnian trade unions see little to celebrate on workers’ day

Huge dissatisfaction marked International Workers’ Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the leader of one of the country’s biggest trade unions claiming that the situation for Bosnian workers has never been harder.

“The average net wage in the [metal] industry is about 580 marks (300 euros). This is less than a third of what is really needed in a four-member family, which amounts to 2,000 marks,” said Bajro Melez, president of the union of metal workers.

“Public spending is a huge burden on the industrial sector, which is forced to pay high fiscal charges to fill the state budget. This is one of the main reasons why today, 24 years after the end of the war, the socioeconomic position of a huge number of workers in the industrial sector in BiH is below satisfactory,” Mr Melez added.

Workers in the textile, leather, footwear and tire sectors live in the worst conditions, with average wages between 400 and 500 marks (200-250 euros).