Serbian Union Takes Pay Cut to Help Restart of Sole Steel Plant

Serbia’s second-largest trade union agreed to a 20 percent wage cut at the country’s sole steel plant, which the government wants to restart more than a year after it bought it back from U.S. Steel Corp.

The Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions accepted a proposal to save on wages as part of efforts to jumpstart production at state-run Zelezara Smederevo, it said today in an e-mailed statement.

Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic said last week Zelezara would restart one of its two furnaces by the end of March, after a sales tender expired without attracting any bids. Serbia has been looking for a buyer since January 2012 when U.S. Steel sold Zelezara back to the government for $1.