Police Evict Striking Mechanics of Serbia's JAT Airways, EU

Striking mechanics were demanding more than double their current salaries, which now averages US $490.00 per month.


Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) -- Police evicted some 600 mechanics of JAT Airways from aircraft maintenance hangars at Belgrade airport early Thursday after their seven-day strike grounded the troubled state airline.

The workers, who had blocked the hangars, were demanding more than double their salaries, which now averages 30,000 dinars (euro370; US$490) a month. The government refused their demands and said the strikers would be suspended from work.

Last month, the government imposed a caretaker management at JAT Airways to try to restructure the company, including layoffs and sellouts of various businesses owned by the carrier.

The strike has grounded all JAT flights for a week, costing the company an estimated euro400,000 (US$527,000) a day.

The strikers left the hangars peacefully after the police intervention.

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