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29 Nov 2021

Sasa Dragojlo, BIRN

Serbia: Documents reveal extent of exploitation of Vietnamese workers at Chinese tire site

Documents Reveal Extent of Exploitation at Chinese Tire Site in Serbia, 29 November 2021

Serbian NGOs blew the whistle...on the exploitation and possible human trafficking of Vietnamese workers hired to build the first Chinese car tyre factory in Europe, alleging that their passports had been confiscated and they had been housed in dirty, cramped dormitories with two toilets for 500 men and a lack of clean, warm water.

Amid the outcry, the workers were moved to temporary accommodation in Zrenjanin, but their troubles are far from over.

The terms of their contracts, signed with a subcontractor of China’s Shandong Linglong Tire Co...violate a raft of rules under Serbian labour law, from working-hours to vacation days and financial penalties.

Many want to go home, but cannot afford the cost of the flight home, which they are obliged to cover if they leave early...