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Cacanski Glas and Radio Cacak are hit by the worst crisis in their history

Aleksandar Maksimovic, Radio Cacak and Zorica
Jakovljevic, "Cacanski Glas"

No salaries, no health care, no support from colleagues

During the last few months, two media companies from Cacak – the newspaper Cacanski Glas and Radio Cacak – have been struggling with the worst crisis in their history. Several days ago, their employees decided to publicly talk about their situation for the first time. Apart from the fact that they are owed more than five monthly salaries by their employer, they are also facing the threat of losing their social protection as of 1 January due to unpaid contributions for social and health insurance. In the words of Radio Cacak employees and representatives of the recently-formed trade union, their agony began soon after privatization. A municipal media company used to encompass the newspaper Cacanski Glas, which is about to mark the its eightieth anniversary, Radio Cacak, which is one of the oldest local radio stations, and TV Cacak. However, the company was divided in three separate companies before the privatization. In 2006, the weekly newspaper Cacanski Glas was sold on auction sale. It was bought by Zorica Subotic from Pozega, but it soon turned out that the real owner was a businessman from Cacak, Zoran Bojovic, who was later appointed as the president of the managing board. After the sale of the newspaper, Radio Cacak and TV Cacak were privatized as well in the end of 2009. They were bought by a high school student Milos Bojovic, the son of Zoran Bojovic. In December last year, Milos Bojovic also became the owner of the newspaper Cacanski Glas. In this way, what used to be a municipal news company with business premises in the very center of the city of Cacak became a property of the Bojovic family, which also owns several other companies from Cacak. One of these companies, Ishrana, which is the first industrial food company in Cacak, has recently gone bankrupt.

- Svetlana Bojovic, the mother of the majority owner, is the director of all three media outlets but we have not been able to contact her for six months. Employees in Radio Cacak – four permanently employed workers and two contributors that have remained on job out of 25 workers employed before the privatization – received their last salary on 7 September, while their health care and social insurance contributions were last paid in June, in the amount equivalent to minimum-wage salaries – claims a journalist from Radio Cacak, Aleksandar Maksimovic.

The newspaper Cacanski Glas has found itself in an even more difficult situation: its bank account has been blocked due to a debt amounting to a half a million dinars. The debt had been incurred because the newspaper was a guarantor for loans taken by Bojovic on behalf of his other companies. Journalists working for Cacanski Glas point out that their salaries have been late for five months already, but despite the situation the Privatization Agency decided to extend the deadline given to the owner to pay the late salaries to the employees. Disregarding the difficult position of their colleagues from the radio station and the newspaper, TV Cacak has not reported a single word about the press conference organized by the employees of Radio Cacak and Cacanski Glas. The same can be said of the local station TV Galaksija 32, despite the fact that both TV stations receive money from the city budget for the purpose of providing information to citizens.

Employees in these media companies from Cacak hope that the Privatization Agency will annul the privatization of Radio Cacak and Cacanski Glas, but no one can predict what is going to happen with the property used by Bojovic to guarantee the loans. On the other side, at least for the time being, the radio and newspaper employees are not considering the possibility of striking.

Aleksandar Arsenijevic

About the authors

MC Newsletter,
December 30, 2011

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