Human Resources News & Insights

HR’s strange side: Union official protests cuts by devouring own finger

We think the headline of this story says it all, but read on if you must.

If you thought U.S. union bosses were tough, you should see what goes on in Serbia. That’s where Zoran Bulatovic, a union leader at a textile plant, cut off his own finger and ate it to protest wage cuts by his employer.

“We, the workers have nothing to eat, [so] we had to seek some sort of alternative food and I gave them an example,” Bulatovic told fascinated reporters.

He said he decided to act after his deputy, “a single mother of three, was the first to say she would cut off her finger. I could not allow her to do that.”

So, the union leader explained, he grabbed a hacksaw at work, sliced off a pinkie and munched away. That action was preceded by a 19-day hunger strike by workers at the plant. (Insert your own punchline.)

Bulatovic further noted that he wasn’t recommending the same type of protest to others because “it hurt like hell.”

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  1. wow that is dedication – talk about pig headed! That gives excellent credibility if you ask me – NOT. Almost amounts to a toddler throwing a tantrum over not getting a chocolate bar and the mom giving in.

  2. Although I am certainly not advocating this sort of behavior, it does make me think: How hard does one’s life need to be to bring them to such drastic measures? Could it be possible that the hardships are so overwhelming (and unable to articulate or understanding that no one really cares), they feel as helpless as a toddler. There is ALWAYS another side; compassion still helps make the world a better place.

  3. Karen Budrow says:

    I agree with Amanda.
    I also find Labor is being treated poorly in most of the world today. We accept it when a corporation tells us one man is worth millions a year while many working for him must have 3 jobs for the family to meet basic costs.

  4. I agree with Karen…corporations have no problem given execs millions of dollars in compensation and worldwide there are profound examples of the exact opposite for workers who row those corporate ships and hoist those heavy corporate sails (sales!) to make it work for execs. This is a perfect example of the lack of ethical behavior in corporations, that stunts our alighnment with corporate goals. Pay the people, for Heaven’s sake, pay them fairly, and make it happen before they eat all of thier fingers and can’t work at all!

  5. This gentleman needs professional psychological counseling.
    We think that we have it so bad in our country when every country in the world is much worse off then we. One thing that some people need to remember is that executives get paid on this theory, “With great power comes great responsibility (and pay).”. You can not compare a company worker that puts five nuts on a wheel as it goes down an assembly line to the CEO or president of a company with thousands of workers that he has to worry about.
    Just as I did, if you want to be more than a lug nut installer then make something of yourself. That is what this country is founded on. People that make something of themselves when they start with nothing.
    I have a question:
    How many of those writing these comments get paid much more than the nut driver on the line (or equivalent in your business). Rather than cut your finger off in protest why don’t you just ask for your boss to lower your pay so that you are equal to those that work for you.

  6. Fred, while I agree that some positions are worth more than others, the wide disparity between the lowest and the highest paid employees should not be a source of pride. No one — NO ONE — is worth millions of dollars each year. The U.S. President, the leader of the free world, doesn’t make nearly that much — and I would argue that he (or she, someday) is worth more than the CEO of an auto or banking company.

    If that CEO is truly worried about his workers, he could take a substantial pay cut, not accept government bailout money, and truly make an effort to make the world a better place.

  7. “Bulatovic further noted that he wasn’t recommending the same type of protest to others because “it hurt like hell.” ”

    Understatement of the year.

    But also remember Fred, without the lug nut installers (and the other skileld laborers), the CEO would have no employees, or business, to oversee.
    Like Alabama sang,
    “There are people in this country who work hard every day
    Not for fame or fortune do they strive
    But the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay
    And it’s time a few of them were recognized”

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