The independent union of Magneti Marelli, Kragujevac, has announced a strike for today, January 12, as the company itself allegedly changed its rules of operation during the Christmas holiday without informing the union.
Magneti Marelli, which produces plastic bumpers for the Fiat 500L model, has been operating in Serbia since 2018 under the name Fiat Plastic.
The union recalls that Fiat Plastic, owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), a beneficiary of all possible subsidies and state relief, both before and during the epidemic, has already tried to force the trade union representatives to sign the Collective Agreement, which contains provisions, that, among other things, include a waiver of strike action, which, according to the union, is illegal.
“After threats and illegal negotiations about the new collective job agreement which took place in an atmosphere of pressure and blackmail, Fiat Plastic and the company’s executive, Nikola Jerotijevic, unilaterally changed the company’s rules of operations during the Christmas holiday and did not inform the trade union,” reads the union’s press release.
The union claims that the company is trying to use the current epidemiological situation, to justify the reduction of workers’ wages, as a result of the alleged losses due to reduced production.
The trade union adds that it is no secret that Fiat in Serbia has been decreasing its production for years, without launching the promised new model, while regularly receiving government subsidies for years, all at the expense of Fiat’s workers.
“The workers want to work despite the difficult conditions, sometimes working hours longer than prescribed by law, and even during the current difficult epidemiological situation. For most workers, the reduction of wages is a hard blow to the family budget, and being forced to waive their right to strike is an insult to human dignity,”, the trade union says.
Instead, the workers demand that Fiat finally ensure the production of the new model, and not to stoop to arrogant violations of the law, as happened during the Fiat workers’ strike, when the company put itself above the Serbian Constitution.
“In order to show that we are determined to fight for our rights and dignity, we have announced a strike for Tuesday, January 12,” reads the press release.
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