THE MANAGEMENT of the Slovak branch of German carmaker Volkswagen is no longer considering cutting the salaries of its staff by 4 percent this year, employee trade union head Zoroslav Smolinský announced after negotiations with employee representatives on February 14.

"The employer has reconsidered its intention and no longer insists on cutting salaries by 4 percent. We've presented our requirements, which were accepted by the management of the firm," said Smolinský, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Among the union's demands are a 6.9-percent salary hike, a 1.5-percent increase in supplementary pension funds and the extension of paid breaks from the current 30 to 40 minutes.

The firm’s management, according to Smolinský, considers the recent negotiations to represent a shift in the ongoing process of collective bargaining. The employer still wants to reduce employee work hours, but has not yet told the union for which period and by how much.

"We'll have to re-calculate what it would mean in relation to our demands," said the union leader, as quoted by TASR. The union insists on a 6.9-percent increase for a standard 7.5-hour shift, but would be willing to agree to a lower raise for reduced work hours.

Volkswagen Slovakia’s management declined to comment on the ongoing collective bargaining. "We're trying to negotiate at the negotiating table, so we will comment on the results at the end of the talks," said company spokesman Vladimír Machalík.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.