PM Zaev meets Jugohrom trade union representatives over plant restart

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev , Vice Premier for Economic Affairs Koco Angjusev, Vice Premier and Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski, Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mila Carovska, and Lirim Sabani from the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning met Sunday with Jugohrom trade union representatives Bajram Amiti and Svetislav Spasovski, and Trade Union of Industry, Energy and Mining (SIER) secretary-general Mare Anceva.

The meeting focused on the possibility for restarting of the Jugohrom Ferroalloys plant, which has been closed for eight months due to its failure to install de-dusting equipment, while 1,200 workers have been left without a job.

"The problem can be solved if there is will by all stakeholders. The problem should be solved institutionally and we will do everything in this aspect", said PM Zaev after the meeting.

Jugohrom trade union representatives presented the problems that workers have been faced with in the recent period and voiced hope that the new government would find a solution in everyone's interest.

"This issue concerns salaries for 1,200 people. It is also in the society's interest to keep this unique industrial facility operational. Making profit will open the door for increased salaries and new jobs, thus contributing to economic development. However, the health of workers and people in the region is also important, meaning the required environmental standards need to be met. As promised, one of our first steps is the solution to the Jugohrom problem", said Zaev.

Government representatives are also set to meet with the plant management regarding the issue of installing filters preventing pollution, as well as with environmental associations.