The workers at the Pučišće stone quarry on the Island of Brač are fighting for the survival of the Jadrankamen company, which has been brought to the verge of bankruptcy by the criminal mismanagement of those in charge. While modernization and investment in machinery have been neglected, money in the accounts has been constantly removed and directed into private pockets in a close symbiosis between the private relations of capital and the political structures. Thanks to this configuration, the firm, which has just one product – the Vienna parliament building and the White House in Washington are built of Brač stone – is very close to the edge.
Led by their trade union, the workers of Jadrankamen have decided to oppose this with all their strength and by all available means. They have decided to prevent any future dirty dealings, every attempt to remove company property, and all decisions about their future made behind their backs and against the interests of production. With this aim they have organized themselves and taken control of the business, establishing workers’ guards and arousing the whole population of the village to safeguard Jadrankamen.
On several occasions, acting administrators have been appointed to Jadrankamen whose interests have been directed neither towards the continuation of production nor the protection of workers’ interests. The workers have understood that and decided to prevent their activities and deny them access to the company offices. During the first attempted blockade the state reacted extremely quickly, sending in the riot police: one night they landed 200 members of the special police on the island who in the morning started a fight with the workers’ guard. Having seen a few days ago that the administrator newly-appointed by the court set no more store than her predecessors in maintaining production, the workers also denied her access to the site. Since the previous episode involving police intervention in Pučišće had provoked public anger and condemnation, which put pressure on the government, on this occasion the authorities proceeded in a more underhand manner. To intimidate the working people, they arrested the leading workers Tonči Drpić, Dario Martinić and the brothers Josip and Marko Eterović, accusing them of calling for resistance to the authorities. They were released after a day of interrogation, under condition they do not go near the administrator and register daily with the police. Together with the whole population of the village, the workers intend to continue the fight to safeguard Jadrankamen.
The Jadrankamen workers have urgent need of help and solidarity from trade unionists and activists all over Europe. They need information about their struggle and state repression to be disseminated as widely as possible. We call on working people, trade unionists, social movement activists and intellectuals to sign this appeal showing their solidarity and support for the struggle of the workers of Jadrankamen.
Radnička borba (Workers’ Struggle), 23 June 2012
Address to support the appeal: firstname.lastname@example.org
> The statement above was issued by Radnicka Borba (Workers’ Struggle), a Permanent Observer organisation of the Fourth International on Croatia.