Allegations of Abuse of Indian Workers at Ljubljana Carwash

By , 10 Aug 2022, 15:15 PM Business
Allegations of Abuse of Indian Workers at Ljubljana Carwash Photo: Marco Verch Professional P CC-by-SA-2.0

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STA, 9 August 2022 - Public broadcaster TV Slovenija has reported of yet another grave case of exploitation of foreign workers in Slovenia. Indian workers were reportedly forced to work 60-hour weeks at a Ljubljana car wash for less than the minimum wage after having their passports taken away. Amonte, the company operating the car wash, has denied the allegations.

TV Slovenija reported on Tuesday that the group of Indians ran away from the Avtostop car wash, located near the BTC shopping district, because of grave threats levelled at them by the employer.

Two of them turned for help to Delavska Svetovalnica, an NGO specialising in the rights of migrant workers.

The 12 men were staying on the premises of the employer and one of them has said that assistant director of the company would come to their bedrooms drunk at night.

He allegedly threatened the workers that their employer knew national and local politicians and had connections in the police and the military.

The Financial Administration, the Labour Inspectorate and the police conducted separate oversight visits at the firm in July, TV Slovenia said, adding that the procedures were still ongoing.

The day before the Labour Inspectorate visited the company, the men were given back their passports, after which they were taken away from them once again. The frightened workers then called the police.

Goran Lukić of Delavska Svetovalnica said that "the employer is obviously in the know about potential oversight visits".

Amonte director Semir Hajdarpašić meanwhile rejected the allegations, but refused to appear on camera. He believes this is an attempt at blackmail.

The workers had been complaining about work conditions from the beginning, had demanded higher pay and then disappeared, he said. He also believes the workers used his company to continue their way to Northern Europe.

The report comes just two months after modern slavery reports at two fish-packing companies employing foreign workers.

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