“After the second round of negotiations with the mediation of the conciliator, not only was no agreement reached with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but the workers found themselves in an even worse situation than before,” said Zoran Miljković, president of the Fiat Plastik Strike Committee in Kragujevac.
“The employer was extremely arrogant and rude and offered us an illegal collective job agreement in which we have to give up our right to strike and in which our annual leave compensation is reduced by more than 60%,” Miljković said after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting Fiat’s offices in Belgrade.
According to him, the Director-General of Fiat in Kragujevac, Nikola Jerotijevic, spoke to Miljković in an arrogant tone and informed the Committee that, despite the Labour Law and relevant strike regulations stipulating the right to strike, Fiat Plastick would not be allowed to strike in the factory.
Miljković said that the workers presented the employer and the conciliator with a document, which they claim is legally valid as of 2018, with the signatures of the president of the trade union and Fiat, in which they undertake to pay the annual leave compensation in the amount of the average wage.
Miljković added that the Minister of Labour, Darija Kisić Tepavčević, did not attend the meeting and there was no meeting with the strikers before the second round of reconciliation. According to Miljković, the Minister said she would talk to him during the day.
“We ask the Minister to urgently send work inspectors from Belgrade to Fiat Plastik, ordering the employer to return the machines illegally moved during the strike to another factory and to return the group of workers, including members of the Strike Committee, who are on a forced leave, to work”.
He underlined that if the machinery is not returned to where it belongs as soon as possible, the Strike Committee will interpret that as the state authorities openly siding against all workers in Serbia because no trade union will have the right to strike if all employers act like Fiat.
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