Speaking to N1 about the situation in which the Vietnamese work and live in the Chinese Ling Long tire factory in northern Serbia, Ivana Gordic of the Vojvodina's Investigative Centre said on Tuesday she thought that would not be ignored and "the problem will be internationalised."
„I think they (the Ling Long owners) are buying time right now. Imagine how arrogant, how rude you have to be to do something like that, to bring 500 slaves to (the northern town of) Zrenjanin,“ she said.
Nebojsa Rajkovic, Secretary-General of the Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions, agreed that was terrible, but added that „it is not a matter of empathy, but of applying or not applying the law“.
Gordic said she still felt sick since „the first thing that hit your mind was that those people lived like rats. I was there when everything was flooded, in darkness after they saw me filming and turned off the light.“
She added the problem was that people in Zrenjanin who knew what was happening in the warehouse did not want to talk about it.
„I think that Zrenjanin residents who work there are equally afraid as the Vietnamese,“ Gordic said and added the camp was well hidden.
Rajkovic said the responsibility lied with „Labour Ministry, i.e. its Labour Inspection. The problem is that the Inspection has not done its job for years. The law is on the paper, but there are no mechanisms to implement it.“
He added, „the Union has no legal means to intervene.“
„The laws don’t apply to Ling Long,“ Gordic warned.
She added that measurements showed there was less room per person than the law envisaged for prisoners.
Gordic said she believed the Long Long owners were dealing with the damage control and that those people would eventually be saved.