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Serbia: YURA Corp.'s factory workers complain about alleged abuses including beatings, sexual harassment, non-payment of wages & denial of freedom of association

During our mission to Serbia in June 2016, we learnt about alleged abuses against YURA Corporation's factory workers including beatings, sexual harassment, non-payment of wages & denial of freedom of association.

The same month we invited YURA Corporation to respond to these allegations, but it did not. In September 2016 we invited Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors, firm's reported major customers, to comment on articles alleging workers’ rights abuses at YURA Corporation in Serbia. The companies did not respond. Materials with full information and YURA Corporation's non-response are below.

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Article
4 July 2016

Serbian workers struggling with ‘widespread’ poor conditions

Author: Sasa Dragojlo, Balkan Insight (BIRN)

Government pandering to investors, inadequate labour legislation and a slow-moving judiciary are some of the reasons for widespread violations of workplace rights in Serbia, trade unions believe. Beating workers with metal sticks if they bend over while working, ordering them to wear nappies so they don’t waste time going to the toilet, asking them to do unpaid extra hours or work on public holidays, and firing them for arguing – these are just some of the complaints that employees of Yura, a South Korean company based in the town of Leskovac, raised...Yura has declined to comment on the alleged violations of workplace rights...Zeljko Veselinovic, the president of the association of Serbian trade unions, Sloga, told BIRN that unfair labour legislation and slow-moving employment tribunals are the key reasons why Serbian workers cannot get protection from bullying tactics by management.

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Article
4 July 2016

South Korean firm maltreat workers in Serbia

Author: Milos Mitrovic, Independent Balkan News Agency

Yura, South Korean corporation which has several factories in Serbia, has by far the worst attitude toward workers, when compared with other foreign investors in the country. Zeljko Veselinovic, president of the trade union “Sloga”, said this commenting 15 minutes strike in Yura’s factory in Leskovac...“Our battle with Yura lasts already five years”, Veselinovic told “Danas” daily. “They have been hitting (workers) with metal sticks, harassed women, although there were no rape cases. They forbade them (female workers) to go to toilet and suggested them to wear diapers for adults. If someone gets sick, they call ambulance to come to factory and if worker is not hospitalized she is obliged to get back to work”, Veselinovic explained adding that many complaints have been submitted against Yura. However, nothing has been resolved so far, he stressed.

Read the full post here

Company non-response
4 July 2016

YURA Corporation did not respond