There is at least one group of Croatians who are not looking forward to 1 July when Croatia becomes a full member state of the European Union – those working in the countries freight forwarding industry.
Daily newspaper Vecernji list reports that around 80% of workers in the domestic freight forwarding industry will lose their jobs when Croatia joins the EU “customs” family.
Since more than 60% of Croatian foreign trade is with EU countries, liberalization of border and customs duties will result in local shippers reducing staff up to a massive 80%, with the skills of the majority of people employed in the sector becoming permanently redundant. Although exact figures do not exist, it is assumed between 50 and 80% of employees in the industry will be left jobless when Croatia joins the EU, adding another 2,000 off people to the dole que.
As Goran Hill, owner of Hill Zagreb Shipping Company,explains, layoffs could start as early as next month.
“Because you have to give employees 3 months notice, I think layoffs will start from 1 April. Unfortunately these workers are mostly middle-aged men with basic qualifications so they will find it difficult to gain employment. I recently had to layoff an employee who had worked for me for 19 years,” said Hill.