Two thirds of the Fiat factory in Kragujevac in both shifts voted on July 12 to continue a strike, Beta is reporting.

Second-shift workers unanimously refused to halt the strike, Independence Union head Zoran Stanic told journalists.

Two thirds of the employees in the first shift were for halting the strike. The decision about the strike was made after union reps met with Economy Minister Goran Knezevic.

The strike of factory workers began on June 27. They demand increased wages, hiring new workers or a different organization of work.

Serbian government and Fiat Group representatives signed a deal in September 2008 on a joint investment in the Kragujevac factory Zastava Automobili, worth some EUR 950 million. Fiat owns 67 percent of shares in the FCA company, while the Serbian government holds a 33-percent stake.

In addition to direct investments in the factory, Serbia has undertaken to secure for Fiat additional incentives over ten years, considerable tax cuts, infrastructure and free land to expand the facility, and has lifted local taxes and fees.

B92