Fiat Plastik workers, who are returning to work today after their collective annual leave, will continue their strike from Wednesday, 1st September. The strike is continuing because their demands have not been met after more than six months of suspension from work, announced the Independent Trade Union.
Fiat Plastik’s workers have launched the strike due to the fact that their salaries had been reduced, demanding that their regress to the level of before January 2021 and that the annual leave compensation should be paid 65% instead of 60% of their salary.
The Independent Union says that not only have the workers’ demands not been met, but they have even increased due to multiple violations of the law by the employer, towards which the state institutions have “mostly remained silent”. The Union added that, while respecting the law and procedures, they have used all legitimate means to fight for workers’ rights, but had encountered “incomprehension, arrogance and a lack of respect for the law”.
What was missing, according to the union, was the support of the local community and the state, which ‘turned out to be powerless in the face of the arbitrariness of a large foreign investor’, starting from the local inspectors and Kragujevac administration, to the highest state bodies, such as the line ministries and the Serbian government.
“Since we have exhausted all possibilities prescribed by law and used all legitimate channels of communication, without concrete results, we wonder what is left to do, i.e. whether we should block railways and roads, since we have seen that this seems to be the only effective form of trade union struggle in Serbia,” the trade union’s press release says.
They called on government representatives to get in contact with them, who despite all promises have ignored the trade union lately, especially Labour Minister Darija Kisić-Tepavčević and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić.
“We would like to remind you that Fiat reduced the salaries of workers in the middle of the pandemic without giving an acceptable reason, although other divisions of the company did not do so despite having the same operational level,” the union concluded.
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