Fiat Serbia Workers Demand Higher Wages, Get Chicken Discount

Bozi Tatarevic
by Bozi Tatarevic

The union representing workers at the Fiat 500L factory in Kragujevac, Serbia has a big job ahead of it. Workers are demanding raises, bonuses, and a steady work schedule. In its most recent newsletter, the union listed those demands once again, but instead of news of a pay negotiation the union told workers they’ve negotiated a chicken discount at a local butcher.

Samostalni Sindikat FAS has represented workers at the 500L factory since their collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2010. At the time, the union was able to negotiate fair wages and additional benefits for workers, including a 31,000 RSD ($294 USD) monthly average salary. Workers were happy as many were unemployed after Yugo production was shut down in 2008, and the wage was considered fair at the time.

Since 2010, FCA Serbia has become the biggest exporter in the country. The cost of living has also gone up since 2010 and workers have demanded raises along with confirmation of a second model for the factory. A new model would give the workers a sense of stability. Not only has a second model not been announced, the factory has been shut down multiple times in the past 6 months due to slow sales of the 500L.

In attempts to stay on the good side of its members, the union has aimed for small, stop-gap benefits. One such benefit is a gift of 10,000 RSD ($95 USD) to workers who have a child to help with baby supplies.

With no news on the real demands, the fringe benefit in this month’s newsletter is a chicken discount from a local butcher. Sitting directly across the page from the wage demands, we find out that the workers can get chicken drumsticks at a discounted rate equivalent to $2.51 per kilogram ($1.14 per pound).

[Image Credit: Eli Duke/ Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0]

Bozi Tatarevic
Bozi Tatarevic

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5 of 46 comments
  • Jpolicke Jpolicke on Oct 16, 2015

    Winner winner, chicken dinner!

  • Flybrian Flybrian on Oct 16, 2015

    ...cue the surprise about 500L build quality in 3...2...

  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 17, 2015

    Needed: More Popes.

  • Skor Skor on Oct 18, 2015

    While most of you are being oh so clever with the Borat jokes, fact is that you should be horrified that there people in this world lining up for jobs that pay $300/month. While you are yucking it up, the 1% in America are seeing to it that most of you will be working jobs that pay $300 per month.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 19, 2015

      Serbians were much better off as part of Yugoslavia, if not yet up to Western European economic standards. Yugoslavia broke up violently, in no small part due to the intransigence of Serbian politicians, and Serbians are still paying for that.