Workers assert themselves in Yugoslava

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Oct 24 07:48:17 MDT 2000

>LP> [I might have been guilty of dismissing Xxxx Xxxxxx's CWI communique
>LP> too hastily yesterday. Although his post had nothing empirical to
>LP> back up his claims of a workers revolt, I have found numerous
>LP> accounts in today's dispatches that refer to exactly such a thing. It
>LP> would appear to be something that Kostunica and his western allies
>LP> would be anxious to squelch since it has all the earmarks of true
>LP> proletarian resistance to both capitalism and the kind of NEP-man
>LP> corruption that marked the Milosevic years.]
>  Exactly.

Luko, I changed my mind on this. By the way, I see that the Militant
newspaper is lying about events in Yugoslavia today. It represents the
"crisis committees" as taking a stand against privatization:

The committees have been formed largely under this banner: "To protect the
state-owned property from robbery by the ousted criminal bureaucrats."

In all the years I have been reading the Militant going back to 1967 when I
was selling dozens a week as a party member, I have never seen such a
falsification. In the most highly publicized instance of privatization
facing the Yugoslav people, the crisis committee at ICN, a state-owned
pharmaceutical company, is facilitating the return of the company to its
former owner:

Los Angeles Times, October 11, 2000, Wednesday, Home Edition



Shareholders of a Belgrade pharmaceutical plant seized early last year from
ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed Tuesday that majority ownership should be
returned to the Costa Mesa drug maker, Yugoslavia's Beta news agency

Beta quoted Vladan Batic, ICN's lawyer in Yugoslavia, as saying that the
shareholders, who include the workers at the ICN Galenika plant, had agreed
to set up a crisis committee to run the factory temporarily.

ICN Chairman Milan Panic and other company executives met with members of
the Yugoslav government under newly elected President Vojislav Kostunica to
discuss the return of the plant, said David Watt, ICN's general counsel.

Watt said ICN expects to regain control of the plant "relatively soon."

Plant managers installed under former Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic, whom Kostunica defeated last month, left their offices in the
morning, Beta news said.

ICN will make a formal request for the facility, which once generated
annual sales of $ 250 million, after Kostunica completes the formation of
his government, Watt said.

About 1,000 workers greeted Panic at the drug manufacturing plant Monday,
urging him and the former ICN management group to resume running the
factory, the company said.

Louis Proyect
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