First ever general strike in Bosnian Serb entity

Jun 21, 2000 -- (AFP) The Federation of Trade Unions in the country's Serb entity, the Republika Srpska (RS), called Tuesday for a warning general strike, the first ever in the RS, on June 30.

Union leader Cedo Volas and RS Economy Chamber chairman Nedeljko Suzic invited RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik to the negotiating table on Friday, as "the last deadline aimed to prevent" the strike.

Economics experts in the RS put the unemployment rate there at over 50 percent and warn that dozens of thousands could lose their job as privatization continue.

The RS parliament, set to meet Wednesday, is expected to debate the record of the current government, formed on January 18, 1998, especially on employment issues.

The RS social security fund warned in February that about 300,000 people were in need of social help, a burden that the state cannot support.

Some 130,000 people are already receiving social help across the RS, out of an estimated population of 1.4 million.

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