Fiat’s employee from Kragujevac, Slobodan Dumić (age 32), has refuted information given in a joint press release by the Serbian government and Stellantis that because he suffers from a work-related disability he belongs to the protected category of workers.
In fact, Dumić claims he was called by the company managers yesterday morning and asked to choose “between going to work in Slovakia and dismissal.”
He explained that he became disabled during his employment at Fiat and that he had all the documentation to prove it. “I started working at the age of 22 (at Fiat’s factory) and I was fine before I required surgery,” Slobodan says, adding that his health problems began in 2017.
He claims that he worked on the assembly line in a “semi-squatting position” for 12 hours, that this left permanent damage to his health, and that he has medical documentation that proves that he has a “first category disability.”
“The Prime Minister said that disabled people are considered a protected category (in Fiat). I say she is lying. The company called me at 10:20 this morning and said I don’t belong to the protected group of workers. They offered me work in Slovakia or take TFR or lose my job. I can’t go to Slovakia because my wife is eight months pregnant and unemployed and I have a three-year-old daughter. When I told them this, they said that “that wasn’t their problem,” Dumić claims.
He adds that he feels cheated and betrayed because, as he notes, he was once told that because of his work injury he would be protected as long as Fiat was in Serbia.
At yesterday’s protest, trade union representatives said that Fiat also called single parents to inform them that they were not classified as protected workers either. They claim that only widows and widowers are protected from losing their jobs and that parents, who have sole custody of their children, should decide whether they want to go to Slovakia to work or be dismissed from work with severance pay.
This post is also available in: Italiano