Black Market Labor

A series of stories on Labor

  Story 1: Survey looks at attitudes of unofficial workers

A survey by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that unregistered black market workers see little point in complaining, and only hope for a change in the future. 
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Story 3: Textile workers do without salaries now and pensions in the future

Employers devise ways to avoid paying high contributions for workers, while labor inspectors and responsible officials are ignoring obvious irregularities. 
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Story 5: Willing black market laborers

Employers are not solely to blame for black market labor and not all of the more than 240,000 unofficial workers in BiH have been forced to work without rights or benefits. Many choose that way to work. 
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Story 7: First workplace harassment case in court

By bringing accusations against her boss into a court of law, a woman working for the Federation Archive could change attitudes and ways to response to workplace harassment. 
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Story 9: No money for pensions

One of the most serious problems facing workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina today is the failure of companies and government to make required contributions into pension funds. Yet pension and tax officials are doing little to collect debts or encourage contributions. 
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Story 11: Pensioners on the edge of survival

Unless the question of unpaid contributions for pensions is addressed soon, social unrest threatens and many workers may never be able to retire, union representatives warn. Even when many people do retire, they are barely surviving by working unregistered and eating in free public kitchens. 
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VIDEO: The shadow workers

Video documentary by CIN.
 
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  Story 2: Ready to retire but stuck in the black labor market

Workers who have put decades into jobs may never get to retire because of unpaid contributions to health insurance and pension funds. All they can do is keep on working for daily wages – and hoping things will change. 
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Story 4: Employers break the law with approval from authorities

Employers devise ways to avoid paying high contributions for workers, while labor inspectors and responsible officials are ignoring obvious irregularities. 
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Story 6: Labor Inspectors see job as pointless

If you work as unregistered workers, you probably won’t be caught. If you are, you probably won’t be punished. 
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Story 8: Wanted: job with benefits and rights

Reporters from CIN searched through job offerings, went on interviews and in general tried to find out what young job seekers in BiH go through trying to land their first job. They learned that new workers must be willing to work for low wages and no benefits and to trust in promises. 
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Story 10: What it took to get a list of names of debtor companies

Officials for pension funds in both entities did not want to divulge the names of companies that have left their funds short of millions of KM. Instead they cited the companies’ right to privacy and other excuses. Here’s how CIN got the names it got. 
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Story 12: A dozen steps toward labor reform

A round-up of suggestions from experts, officials, inspectors, and workers that could make a difference. 
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The following reporters make up the Center for Investigative Reporting: Mirza Bahić, Mirsad Brkić, Svjetlana Ćelić, Ida Ðonlagić, Željka Kujundžija, Gordana Lukić, Eldina Pleho and Renata Radić. For more information call: 387 33 560-040.