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Since July 21, 2020 workers of FIAT Chrysler Serbia have been on paid leave which will be linked to their collective annual leave, meaning they won’t come back to the factory till the beginning of September.
As paid leave had been approved by the Government, it is to be seen whether the workers will keep on resting even after September because it all depends on the the automobile industry market where the situation doesn’t look bright.
Vice-President of the autonomous trade union organisation, Nebojša Mandarić, explained that workers would be on their paid leave till July 31, 2020 and thoroughout the period they would receive 65% of their salary. Then, traditional Italian holiday ‘ferragosto’ follows from August 3 to August 21, which is used by all Italian workers in the first three weeks of August. Finally, in the last week of August workers won’t be going to work, but they will still be receiving 65% of their salary.
The reason to stop the production is the adjustment to market needs because the factory functions by order. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, workers were on a paid leave from March 16 till July 7 because the automobile market all around Europe came to a halt.
CATUS Secretary, Zoran Mihajlović, who was once a trade union leader in the Kragujevac factory, says that this year FIAT was working with less capacity, partly because of the virus which fiercly hit the automobile market and partly because FIAT hasn’t had a market for 500L model for a long time.
Statistics in Serbia show that in May the production of motor vehicles experienced the biggest semi-annual drop than all others in the processing industry, precisely by 70%. This is even an improvement compared to a semi-annual drop of 85% in April.
This year’s production in FIAT will certainly be the smallest since 2012 when the production in Kragujevac workshops has been renewed. According to some estimates, in FIAT since the beginning of this year 15,000-20,000 pieces of 500L model have been made, which is almost six times less than in 2013, when a record number of 117,000 cars were produced on the assembly lines.


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