Brnabic: Political interest behind strike in Fiat

Commenting on the strike at Fiat’s factory in Serbia, PM Ana Brnabic said that she believed that there was a political interest behind it all.

“I think that all of this is political and that the workers have been manipulated with”, she said for RTS. She rejected claims made by the head of the strike committee that the Serbian government had not been communicating with the strikers.

“Our intentions were very sincere, i.e. to be there for the strike committee and the workers and to find a solution that would be a win-win for all of us. We have not been able to do that”, the new prime minister went on to say.

She added that she never stopped communicating with the strike committee and that her door was constantly open to them. Brnabic also said that her cabinet chief had 23 talks with the head of the strike committee, Zoran Markovic, and that she met with them too only for Markovic to later claim that he was never contacted by the government.

“I was hoping that the workers would decide to stop the strike so that we could sit down and negotiate”, Brnabic also said, adding that the government fully supported Fiat’s workers. “This is why we have promised that we are going to get Fiat’s management to sit down for negotiations, and I will be there too”, the PM added.

“We have replied to all four of the workers’ demands. We have said that we, as a government and minority shareholder in FCA, will insist on all of the demands being resolved. The only thing that we could not guarantee is increase in salaries. That is something that has to be resolved through negotiations only. At this moment, I am afraid that we are close to the scenario that none of us want to see happening which is reduction in production at Fiat”, the PM said.

Commenting on the interview she gave for Bloomberg and her alleged statement that if Serbia had to choose between Russia and the EU, it would choose the latter, Brnabic said that Bloomberg did not quote her but rather interpreted her statement. “Serbia is mindful of its economic interests, of its role on the political scene and of the best interests of its citizens. The EU membership is our strategic goal, but our ties to Russia are traditional and economic because Russia is a huge market”, the PM said and added that it would irrational to have bad relations with Russia.

(Blic, Danas, 17.07.2017)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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