Strike in Fiat: Controversy surrounds Independent Trade Union

The top officials from the Independent Trade Unit at Fiat’s factory in Kragujevac started yesterday disbursing the factory’s workers with 18,000 dinars each.

To remind, this summer, the workers went on a 16-day-strike demanding higher salaries and better working conditions.

This financial assistance will be given to 1,600 workers in total, most of whom were on strike all the time, while those workers, who were on strike for a shorter period, will get a smaller amount. Based on the number of workers who are going to get the financial help, the trade union will disburse a total of 240,000 EUR.

The assistance is being distributed by the head of Fiat’s Independent Trade Union, Zoran Markovic who is giving out from a bag full of cash, followed by two of his colleagues checking the list of workers who are entitled to the assistance.

Nobody knows where did this money come from. The Trade Union claims it comes from their own fund, so the question is how come a trade union has 240,000 EUR in cash at its disposal. The speculations are rife that the money was actually provided by either the Serbian government or Fiat Chrysler. Both of them would like to see the Independent Trade Union as a social partner. However, many people think that the trade union agreed to a rather rotten compromise which resulted in only the fraction of the workers’ demands being met post-strike.

The Secretary General of the Independent Trade Union, Sasa Djordjevic categorically denies that he money came from Fiat’s management or state authorities, and adds that it came from the union’s own fund and from the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Serbia. However, the head of the Union, Ljubisav Orbovic knows nothing of this.

Zoran Stanic from the Nezavisnost Trade Union is convinced that the money definitely came from Fiat’s management.

“The Independent Trade Union at Fiat Serbia is actually run by Fiat’s management, and this union staged the so-called strike to prevent a bigger mutiny of Fiat’s workers in Kragujevac. Now, Fiat’s management is returning the favour to the trade union by providing money for the one-off financial assistance to the workers”, Stanic says, and points out, that, during the talks on ending the strike, the Serbian PM, Ana Brnabic openly said to the workers that the state could not provide the money for the pay rise because the EU administration was against it.

(Danas, 13.09.2017)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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