THE THREAT of strike at Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia was avoided as trade union representatives and the company’s management agreed on a salary increase, the TASR newswire reported on May 28.

The company fulfilled the requirements of the trade unions to hike wages by some 80-85 percent, said Zoroslav Smolinský, head of the trade unions in Volkswagen Slovakia. The specific numbers will be released in the following days, once a new collective agreement is signed to replace the previous one that expired on March 31.

The trade unions called the deal “a moral victory”.

“We are happy with the result, because it cost us a lot of energy,” Smolinský said, as quoted by TASR. “Right now the percentage of the pay raise is not that important; I consider it to be more of a moral victory. Because what the plant’s management has done was very humiliating. I’m happy we have protected the honour of our employees in front of the whole of Slovakia, and in front of other colleagues within the company.”

Smolinský also hopes that a similar situation will not be repeated in the future.

“The result corresponds to our offer to hike wages and cut working hours,” said Eric Reuting, member of the board of directors of Volkswagen Slovakia, as quoted by TASR. “These are attractive conditions for our employees.”

The tariff salaries in Volkswagen will increase by 2.4 percent as of April 1, 2014 and by another 2.3 percent as of January 1, 2015, the agreement reads. The employees will also get one-off payments at €280 or will have their working hours cut from 37.5 to 36 hours a week. The remaining 1.5 hours will be used to work off the account of the working hours, as reported by TASR.

The new collective agreement will be valid until September 30, 2015.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.