“Call May!” – What We Know about the Situation of Vietnamese Workers at the Construction Site of the Linglong Factory

The end of 2021 was marked by the story of the position of four hundred Vietnamese workers engaged in the construction of the Linglong Tire Factory in Zrenjanin. These people have been living in inhumane conditions, exploited and are likely victims of human trafficking.

Upon the publication of the story about the position of the workers, things “on the ground” changed rapidly – from the relocation of workers, fake news, return of passports, introduction of private security that does not allow access to workers, through the gaslighting by provision of different information, all the way to the solidarity and self-organized responses of citizens, activist groups and associations to this situation.

In the final episode of this year, we talk about probably the most serious case of violations of economic, social and other human rights in 2021. In the program, we will discuss the current situation of Vietnamese workers, rights that have been violated and the lack of response from the state to the obvious violations of rights of these people.

In one of the situations when the police should have been called, the sentence “Call May” will ring for a long time as a reminder of what it looks like when the state institutions completely withdraw and leave it to the “investors” to enforce order and violate regulations.

Despite the desire to speak directly with some of the workers from Vietnam, it is not possible at this time due to their safety.

That’s why Aleksandar Vračarić from Solidarity Kitchen and Vlada Šahović, a human rights activist, are participating in the program. Aleksandar and Vlada have been directly involved in many things that happened and are still happening in the case of the workers from Vietnam and they will share with us their experiences and the information they have.

Prepared by Nađa Marković and Danilo Ćurčić

Photo by Sara Nikolić