Government did not reach agreement with Zastava Automobili
29. December 2010. | 04:37
State Secretary with the Ministry of Economy Nebojsa Ciric stated on Monday evening that the ministry has not reached an agreement with representatives of Zastava Automobili.
State Secretary with the Ministry of Economy Nebojsa Ciric stated on Monday evening that the ministry has not reached an agreement with representatives of Zastava Automobili, a Kragujevac-based car manufacturer, which is about to close down after Fiat Automobili Srbija (FAS), a joint venture of the Serbian government and Italian Fiat Group, took over its production line.
Ciric stated for the Belgrade-based TV B92 that out of the total of 1,566 workers of Zastava Automobili, 830 will be declared redundant and paid severance pays on January 4.
The workers will get EUR 300 per year of service, and receive RSD 20,000 and contributions in the next 18 months, Ciric said, adding that they will also be able to qualify for some other jobs.
Ciric recalled that so far 1,100 workers of Zastava Automobili have started working with FAS, adding that 53 more are expected to do the same.
President of the Zastava Automobili Independent Union Zoran Mihajlovic stated last week that the workers of Zastava Automobili will stage a protest over the announcements that 800 workers will be left without jobs.
He underscored that “there are actually 1600 workers on Zastava Automobili's waiting list, who have been promised an employment with FAS or cooperatives of this Serbian-Italian company.”
Serbian Minister of Economy Mladjan Dinkic stated on Monday that the redundant workers of Zastava Automobili will receive severance pays totaling around EUR 8,000, adding that there is no space for protests of unions.
He recalled that Zastava was one of the most subsidized companies, since in the last ten years it has received EUR 500 million.
Workers at the Zastava Automobili factory stated during the Monday protest that they do not accept the social program offered to them by the Serbian Ministry of Economy, and announced taking over the Kragujevac city assembly.
President of the Independent Trade Union Zoran Mihailovic said at the open trade union meeting, attended by several hundreds of workers, that the offered social program implies that 1,600 employees of the Zastava factory will lose their jobs by January 4, and that the Union does not accept such proposal.
The Independent Trade Union, Mihailovic said, demands that the workers remain at the factory for next year and a half, during which period they could find jobs at Fiat’s cooperators.
We do not want any money, we do not want any social aid, we want our jobs, we want to work, just as the government promised us before, Mihailovic stated.
He also added that the Union will Monday afternoon negotiate with the Ministry of Economy representatives, after which the workers will make some decisions regarding the further union activities.
The Serbian Ministry of Economy offered the workers at Zastava a social program of EUR 300 per each year of service, since they allegedly had not passed Fiat’s tests.