150 Indian migrant workers working on the construction of Corridor 11, a section of the Surčin-Obrenovac road construction project approached BWI’s Serbian affiliate, the Serbian Road Workers Trade Union and BWI’s partner organization, ASTRA Anti-Trafficking NGO for assistance complaining about poor working and living conditions and exploitation by their employer.
The workers arrived in Serbia five months ago, based on a workers' referral agreement signed between a U.S. company Idea Capital LLC and its Serbian subsidiary, GP Nikolić, Kraljevo. The main contractor of the entire Surčin-Obrenovac project is a Chinese contractor, which has contracted out various sections of the corridor to several subcontractors including GP Nikolić, Kraljevo.
According to the Indian migrant workers, the employer has withheld their passports and have not paid their wages for the past two months. There is no heat or warm water in their accommodation facilities. The workers have also been blackmailed should they complain. The workers’ health is worsening daily and at this point all they hope for is to return to their home in Chennai.
Currently the BWI is working with the Serbian Road Workers Trade Union and ASTRA in Serbia and the TKMTS of India to provide necessary support to the workers so that they can return home safely.