AFTER several weeks of negotiations, the labour unions and the management of the Bratislava-based plant of the Volkswagen automotive producer failed to agree on how much the 10,000 employees should be earning.

If the partners fail to deliver an agreement by Thursday, May 29, the unionists are ready to launch a strike. Unofficial rumours say that the first, warning part of the strike, would mean the factory would shut down for five hours as early as this Thursday, the Sme daily reported.

The unions demand a new collective agreement to be signed by Thursday. The previous agreement expired in March this year, the TASR newswire reported. The management of the plant insists on cutting the weekly working time for the workers by one an a half hours, which would mean a drop in the salaries by 4 percent, union leader Zoroslav Smolinský told TASR. If such an arrangement is introduced, workers would spend 37.5 hours at work but would get paid by only 36.

Smolinský estimated around 2,000-2,500 employees would participate in the strike on Thursday, TASR reported.

“The unions refused the attractive offer of the company to increase the real salaries by 5 percent and spend less time at work,” Volkswagen Slovensko spokesperson Vladimír Machalík told TASR.

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.