[Marxism] Serb eats own finger in wage protest
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 28 15:44:49 MDT 2009
Serb eats own finger in wage protest
10:54 PM PDT, April 27, 2009
Belgrade, Serbia — A Serbian union official who chopped off his finger
and ate it in a protest over wages that in some cases have not been paid
in years said Monday that he did it to show how desperate he and other
"We, the workers, have nothing to eat. We had to seek some sort of
alternative food and I gave them an example," Zoran Bulatovic said.
Bulatovic, a union leader at the Raska Holding textile factory in Novi
Pazar in southwestern Serbia, used a hacksaw to cut off most of his
left-hand little finger Friday.
Bulatovic said he decided to act after his deputy, "a single mother of
three, was the first to say she would cut off her finger. I could not
allow her to do that."
State-owned Raska Holding was a major textile producer in the late 1980s
with a workforce of 4,000. It suffered during the collapse of the former
Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and a loss of markets and mismanagement during
a decade of wars and sanctions led to massive job cuts, leaving the
company with just 100 workers.
Some employees have not been paid for years, collecting only social
benefits, such as medical care.
About two dozen workers went on a 19-day hunger strike last year. They
want the company's debt to be swapped for state-held equity and a social
security program for those nearing retirement.
Bulatovic said his comrades would postpone planned self-mutilations at
least until talks with government officials in Belgrade, expected today.
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