Montenegro: Accident in highway project kills and injures workers employed by China Road and Bridge Corporation - CRBC

 

A worker was killed and a worker was seriouly injured on the Klopot tunnelling works in the Highway Section Smokovac – Uvac – Mateshevo in Montenegro on 5 October 2017. The accident was condemend by BWI affiliate, the Trade Union of Construction and Industry of Construction Materials of Montenegro (SGIGMCG).


SGIGMCG called on the management of CRBC, the Government of Montenegro and the competent Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro to change their way of working and to engage with the union in a public and transparent manner in the interests of workers' safety and health at work.


“We would like to remind the public that CRBC, through the unit for the management of the project “Monteput Ltd”, did not reply positively earlier this year to the initiative of the union to cooperate more closely with us in the field of health and safety, stating that no additional measures are needed. Unfortunately, now we had to experience that the reality shows the opposite. We want to express our deepest sympathies to the family and working colleagues of the killed worker and wish a good recovery to the injured workers”, said Nenad Markovic, president of SGIGMCG.


“The BWI demands immediate action by CRBC and the Ministry to prevent injuries and losses of workers lives. One lost life is too many. As an international organisation representing workers in the building and construction sectors we are paying special attention to the safety and health at work. We believe that the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro and the competent Unit for the management of the project “Monteput Ltd” on behalf of the client of the project shall pay a key role in ensuring safety and health at work. The situation requires not only a thorough investigation, but, concrete measures of the Ministry to support the creation of a collaborative environment for engagement and social dialogue among the main contractor, CRBC branch in Montenegro and the union SGIGMCG”, stressed Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary, in a letter sent to Mr Osman Nurkovic, Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro.


Montenegro ratified ILO Convention 167 on Health and Safety in Construction and the Government and the social partners will need to report on its implementation to the ILO. In this regard, the BWI will continue supporting the efforts of its affiliate to preserve and protect workers’ rights and improve health and safety at work in Montenegro and particularly one of its most significant infrastructure projects.


The Mega Highway project Bar Boljare and its 43-km priority section (Smokovac – Matesevo) for which the Chinese EXIM Bank provided a loan of 800 Million Euro to the Government of Montenegro has now more than 1500 workers on site of which 30% are national workers, while others are from China. In the peak of the works, there will be up to 2.500 workers employed.