The plant Stellantis of Kragujevacin Serbia, will undergo huge technological changes in the coming years in order to accommodate a production line for electric cars. The plant where the Fiat 500Ls were assembled employs 2,000 workers, but in the near future this number could be upset, given the strategic plans of the auto company. Employees were faced with a difficult choice, with significant implications for those with strong territorial ties. The management’s proposal is as follows: two years abroad for continuous updating in the field of electric cars, or an exit program and consequent loss of work.
This is very hot ‘material’ for the unions, even if Stellantis is strongly convinced that it can safely continue with its modernization plan (therefore also human) of the plant. According to a press release in Serbian language, in the first week of the collection of subscriptions, 25% of the employees to whom the plan was proposed already reported that they were available for the transfer temporary in plants abroad, with scheduled return in the course of 2024. It is not clear whether this choice has been proposed to all employees. “Already over 100 employees have agreed to work in other Stellantis plants in Europe. The talks will be conducted in the next few days“, Reads a press release.
Sasa Djordjevic, head of the main union operating at the plant, said: “Serbia had said it would participate in the Stellantis investment with 48 million euros, e it is not fair to use this money to lay off workers or move them elsewhere“. The statement was reported by Reuters news agency. The Serbian state owns 33% of the plant, which once produced Yugos. In the future, the smaller electric units of the Stellantis group will be assembled here.
“In 2013, the renewal of the plant had already started, towards a flexible and agile industrial ecosystem in which the necessary transition phase will be implemented, including the retraining of workers. This will be possible through a joint commitment of all stakeholders, including the Government of the Republic of Serbia, social partners, suppliers and employees. The transformation plan provides for the transfer of workers over a two-year period to other Stellantis plants in Europe, where the transition to electrification has already begun, or the implementation of exit programs. A significant number of overseas jobs will be provided“, Stellantis communicated.
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