A sector in Serbia that has been seriously affected by the economic crisis is certainly the construction industry. Many construction companies have been closed and thousands of people have been rendered jobless. The problem could be resolved only by raising the energy efficiency of facilities, which would entail the opening of new work positions, Minister of Construction Velimir Ilić said two days ago on the occasion of the day dedicated to this sector, 8 August. More from Tamara Prodanović.
A good solution would be to form a development bank, i.e. to rename the Postal Savings Bank and entrust it with certain competences, said Ilić. He announced state assistance and said that as many as 100,000 people could be employed on the task of raising the energy efficiency of facilities alone. In the past two years, the number of construction companies has been reduced by some 3,000 and the number of legally employed workers has been cut by half. At the same time, Serbian construction workers abroad have realized deals worth over 150 million euros. Ilic has promised that the construction sector in Serbia will be recovered. He emphasized that there were many offers from abroad and that projects worth a billion euros could be realized, but that the state would also help construction workers obtain references for important assignments abroad. The construction of flats, which has begun in Belgrade, will continue in Nis, Kragujevac and other big towns in Serbia and a social housing project is to start soon.
The official number of construction workers amounted to 70,000 in March, whereas the average June salary was 36,780 dinars, which is considerably below the average in Serbia. The number of injuries at work in this field constitutes half of the total number of such accidents, which calls for consistent implementation of security and health care measures and th improvement of work conditions. 8 August is marked in remembrance of a three-day strike of construction workers, which ended on 8 August 1940. The strike ensued after the failed negotiations between trade unions and employers on the implementation of a collective contract, especially in the section which referred to the adjustment of wages to the growing prices and costs. In 2012 as well, construction workers demand that their work conditions and standard should be improved.