The ongoing disagreements between the Turkish construction workers reconstructing a stadium in Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city, and their employer, construction company Kayi Construction, should be resolved soon, a representative of the Turkish Embassy in Lithuania says.
Kauno stadioną statantys turkai pradėjo bado streiką dėl nesumokėtų algų
Kauno stadioną statantys turkai pradėjo bado streiką dėl nesumokėtų algų
© Kas vyksta Kaune / Rokas Tenys

"We are talking with the workers, their representatives, we're also talking with the board of directors of the construction company and very soon we believe there will be a solution," Umit Atesagaoglu, a commercial counselor at the Turkish Embassy, told BNS after meeting with the workers and company representatives.

In his words, a solution is expected early this week.

The sides are interested in resolving the issue and their arguments are solid as the workers have the right to receive their pay and the company could not pay due to delayed other payments.

"The company wants to pay and wants to finish the construction because the company doesn't have any problem with the Kaunas municipality or Lithuanian government. Everything is working fine. They just need to organize their funds and they will do the payments," Atesagaoglu said.

In his words, the protesting workers are also interested in a peaceful resolution of the matter.

"I've just spoken with some representatives of the workers and they are also trying to solve the situation because nobody wants to stay in that kind of situation," the embassy representative said.

The Turkish workers building the stadium in Kaunas started their industrial action over unpaid wages in late December and they went on a hunger strike outside Kaunas Municipality on the last day of 2019.

The May 1 Trade Union, which backs the workers, says 53 workers are currently on strike. The construction company owes each of its workers between 7,000 and 12,000 euros, according to the trade union.

Kayi Construction representatives say the pay is delayed under the labor contracts signed in Turkey. Meanwhile, the workers are paid in time under the Lithuanian contracts, therefore, they should resolve the pay problems in Turkey, not Lithuania.

The trade union supporting the Turkish workers says there are also violations in Lithuania as well as the Turks' work overtime, have no copies of their contracts and are not properly insured.

The Lithuanian State Labor Inspectorate also launched its investigation into the Turkish company's Lithuanian branch last Thursday.

Kaunas Municipality signed the contract with the Turkish construction company for the reconstruction of the Darius and Girenas Stadium in June 2018.

The Kaunas authorities say the protests might delay the construction work, therefore, it will consider issuing fines to the company.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
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