The total suspension of operations at Fiat Plastic’s factory, announced for next Thursday following the reduction of wages, has been postponed to February 17.
Fiat Plastic’s workers say that the date of the general strike has been moved for “tactical reasons”, since it is possible that February 11 (originally scheduled date) could be a non-working day, as well as that the a new opportunity for negotiations will present itself.
One-hour warning strikes at the factory have been held since January 12, and workers are demanding that their wages not be reduced, i.e. that they should be the same as pre-January 1, 2021-level.
The head of the strike committee, Zoran Miljković, told media that Fiat Plastic’s workers are dissatisfied because the company had reduced their salaries by more than 50%, thus changing the current Rules of Procedure.
Previously, Fiat Plastic’s trade union has refused to sign the Collective Work Agreement, which was, after lengthy negotiations, accepted by the Independent Trade Union of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Serbia) under which Fiat Plastic operates. As Fiat Plastic’s trade union says, nobody saw this agreement before it was signed.
Instead, FCA signed it despite Fiat Plastic claiming that “90% of the workers did not even know what they had signed”.
“For us, the most controversial element of this agreement is workers waiving the right to strike, even though the Serbian Constitution states that every worker has the inalienable right to strike in the struggle for their economic and professional rights,” Miljkovic said.
The document also says that if workers go on strike, they will receive the minimum wage, lose their bonus, holiday benefits and meal allowance.
Miljkovic added that under these conditions, consider that there have been fewer working days, wages have been lower between 8,000 to 12,000 a month because employees receive 60% of the total for days of paid absence.
He also says that Fiat Plastic is solvent and has received state subsidies, so there is no reason to reduce salaries.
Fiat Plastic’s factory in Kragujevac has 90 employees and is a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Serbia (FCA), for which it produces bumpers for the 500L model.
This post is also available in: Italiano