Serbs back to work

World Brief

Striking workers at influential state-owned broadcaster Radio Television Serbia (RTS) said Monday they will obey the government’s back-to-work order, pending a meeting with the finance minister to discuss demands.

Leaders of the Nezavisnost trade union ordered the strike Jan. 29 after talks with management and the government stalled over demands for enforcement of the Broadcast Act, a 30% salary increase, back payment of vacation benefits for 2002 and implementation of a new collective agreement.

The dispute turned ugly when strikers marched on Belgrade and leaders were questioned by police.

Nezavisnost chief Branislav Canak called the government’s move to ban the strike a step backward in the march toward democracy and free speech.

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