Kosovo Serb prison workers continue protest

BELGRADE -- Suspended Serb prison workers from Lipljan are continuing their blockade of the Coordination Center in Gračanica.

They claim that Belgrade, the Kosovo Ministry specifically, has not paid them money promised for leaving the Kosovo institutions.

After the province’s unilateral declaration of independence, Slobodan Samardžić advised the Serb workers to leave the institutions, and promised to pay them RSD 16,000 (just under EUR 200) a month if they did so.

However, that promise has not been kept, says strike representative Boban Petrović.

“We want an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica. We want to be paid as soon as possible, as the Serbian state promised to do, if we left the Kosovo institutions, ie. not recognize the Kosovo state. As far as the workers are concerned, we’ve done that, but we’ve received no reply from the Serbian state. We’ll stay here until are demands are met, otherwise we’ll keep blocking the Kosovo district and, of course, all Serbian state institutions in the Kosovo district,” warned Petrović.

The Serb workers that left the Kosovo institutions are basing their demands on the government’s decision of February 21, when the Information on Activities for Strengthening Institutions of the Republic of Serbia was adopted.

However, there is no detailed explanation of this on the government website.

Until February 17, there were 2,300 Serbs working in the Kosovo institutions.