BELGRADE – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Serbia will retain a 2,500-strong workforce following a voluntary departure programme, with those who have opted to leave set to receive their redundancy pays on July 28, the RTS reports.

Around 600 of the 1,500 people working for the company’s subcontractors have also decided to leave, says Zoran Markovic, the leader of the Kragujevac-based Independent Union.

Fiat’s Kragujevac plant currently operates in two shifts, producing around 400 vehicles a day.

At a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Director Silvia Vernetti said earlier that the voluntary departure programme had been a complete success.

Fiat, which has around 3,200 workers in Kragujevac, announced in mid-June it would close one shift, prompting union warnings that up to 900 workers at the car plant itself and 600 others employed by subcontractors could lose their jobs.

For instance, workers who have worked at the plant for three years can now count on a redundancy pay of around 4,800 euros.

The Serbian government has a 33 pct stake in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Serbia.