Workers of the Hotel Holiday are Refusing to Work, Protesting in the Hotel Lobby

As reported by Klix.ba here.

Employees of the famous Sarajevo hotel Holiday (former Holiday Inn) have stopped working, for the first time in 30 years, dissatisfied with their working conditions.

As they said to our reporter, the court has ruled against their right to strike, but they have decided to start protests in the hotel lobby, despite that decision.

The workers claim that they haven’t received their last three paychecks, and that the employer contributions [for healthcare and pensions] have not been paid for three and a half years. This is why several of them cannot retire.

The hotel is not open and the employees, some 140 of them, are merely seeing off guests and will return to work once they receive their November and December salaries.

No one is willing to individually give statements to the press; rather they are, according to them, all in this strike together. They are requesting appropriate inspectors to come and inspect the required documents of the hotel.

“We are asking that the real owner, who is in Austria, comes here to resolve the problems,” the workers of the hotel said in unison.

They are determined to stay, even overnight, if needed, until their requests are met, namely, disbursement of at least two salaries and employer contributions deposits, after which, as they said, they can discuss the terms of their return to work.

Senadin Fetahagić, the director of the hotel, said to Klix.ba that the Austrian, Jakob Kuess, owner of Alpha Baumanagement, of which the Holiday in Sarajevo is a subsidiary, had been planning to take out a loan from an Austrian bank so that the salaries and at least partial contributions could be disbursed.

“The bank had, in the meantime, stopped the loan and the loan disbursement for the hotel, once the protests in our country had started. The owner is still waiting for a positive response from the bank, and according to what I know, is doing everything to resolve this situation. The problem is that the hotel cannot pay out the salaries and contributions out of its own budget, as the occupancy in the last few months has been low. Work stoppage is something I was concerned about, because this way we cannot expect anything and the owner of the hotel could decide to completely close the hotel, after which we’ll be all out on the street” Fetahagić noted.

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