Government officials agreed to meet with union leaders after 1,500 striking workers broke through police lines and stormed Parliament to press demands for a 100 percent pay hike.
The incident occurred Wednesday after the strikers broke away from a larger demonstration by 7,000 workers protesting a May 16 wage control order and demanding to meet with authorities.The 1,500 workers, tempers running short in the 104-degree heat, pushed through police lines and rushed into the Parliament building.
There were no reports of injuries or arrests, and calm was restored after officials met with union leaders.
Most of the workers had traveled to Belgrade from Borovo, the country's largest rubber and footwear factory 100 miles west of the capital.
Besides demands for a doubling of wages, the workers insisted that the government take actions to revitalize the ailing Borovo manufacturing complex.
Government officials rejected the workers' demands for the wage hike, but assured them that efforts would be made to put the ailing Borovo factory back on its feet.
Union leader Zvonimir Hrabar and Ivan Kovac, deputy premier of the Croatia republic where the complex is located, said loans totaling about $3 million will be provided to import leather and rubber needed for resuming production in the Borovo plants.
Foreign Trade Minister Nenad Krekic, former general manager of the Borovo factory, told the strikers he would work overtime to bring about the recovery of the Borovo enterprise, which has more than 23,000 employees.
A strike in Borovo began Saturday, when about 2,000 workers walked off their jobs to protest low wages.
"We do not ask for something big," said Ratko Bozic of the Borovo plant. "We want to have material so we can manufacture our products. We want to have a steady job to earn money so we can live a decent life."
Another worker, Milanko Vezickovic, said: "Our salaries are under a minimum limit needed for survival. We just cannot live with our salaries."
The average monthly wage in the Borovo factory is $84, compared with the national average of about $167.