SMEDEREVO, Serbia (AP) -- U.S. Steel Serbia said Tuesday it is slashing working hours because of lower production as it tries to cuts costs in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Its plant's 9,000 employees will work four instead of five days a week, or 32 hours instead of 40, company spokesman Nemanja Brkovic said.
The workers will be getting 60 percent of their daily wage for the extra day off. No layoff plans have been announced at the plant based in Smederevo, around 20 miles (30 kilometers) northeast of Belgrade.
"The measure will help the company cut costs and minimize the influence of the crisis on the employees and their families," he said.
U.S. Steel Serbia plans to idle its second blast furnace by the start of April because of the lack of global demand for its strip steel products. It idled its other furnace late last year.
The plant's exports represented about 15 percent of total Serbian exports before the global financial crisis slashed the demand for steel products.
The decision by the U.S. steel company to cut working hours has prompted the Serbian government to think of introducing the same measure for the state-run companies affected by the crisis.