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Croatian shipbuilding industry hit again as clients cancel contracts

Staff Writer |
After a 10-day strike that finished on Friday, the Croatian shipbuilding industry was hit again as clients canceled contracts with the country's largest shipbuilding group.

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On Monday, Uljanik Group informed the Zagreb Stock Exchange that its clients had canceled a total of four new builds. It is a big blow to the company that is already struggling with financial problems and an uncertain future.

Around 4,500 Uljanik employees went on strike in late August over unpaid wages. On Friday, they received delayed salaries for July thanks to the Croatian government who struck a deal with a local bank and secured the next two wage payments. Although workers of Uljanik Group have canceled the strike, problems in the shipyards have not disappeared.

At "3. Maj", one of the shipyards in the Uljanik Group, there was not much work to do on Monday since there was still no material to continue production. Member of the striking committee and one of the union leaders Juraj Soljic requested an urgent session of the supervisory board to analyze the company's current situation and appoint a new crisis management team, N1 television reported.

Soljic said "3. Maj" could sink due to the latest contract cancellations. Workers at the shipyard want to split off from the Uljanik Group.

Croatian police confirmed on Monday that it was investigating a possible fraud in the shipyards. In March, the Uljanik Group chose the local company Kermas Energija as its strategic partner, but the European Commission has still not approved its recapitalization plans.

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