Fiat rail shipments between its plant in Kragujevac in Serbia and the port of Bar were disrupted last week by a blockade staged by employees of the passenger transport company Autosaobracaj, who were protesting about overdue wages owed to them by the troubled firm.

Autosaobracaj is reported by the Serbian press to have been in financial trouble for a number of years, and is more than RSD 650m ($7.7m) in debt.

Rail shipments to the port of Bar were halted by Autosaobracaj workers who parked buses across the rail line between Kragujevac and Kraljevo meaning trains could pass. It is not clear how many Fiat exports were affected but road links were also disrupted.

Mosolf is handling the rail movements under a subcontract with Grimaldi, which is the main logistics provider that Fiat is using on exports from Serbia. Grimaldi said it could not comment on the situation because of the contract it had with Fiat.

In June this year the Italian carmaker began shipments the 500L model to North America from the Kragujevac plant following the beginning of production in March.

The carmaker has invested €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in preparing the Kragujevac plant, which is a joint venture with the Serbian government, for production of the 500 and 500L. It has also sold more than 34,000 units of the model in Europe since production began.