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Unions offering plastic to members

THE CONFEDERATION of Slovak Unions (KOZ), a labour umbrella group, is hoping to boost its membership by issuing new credit cards provided by the Istrobanka financial house.

The KOZ credit cards offer credit of Sk20,000-60,000 to KOZ members who earn at least Sk8,000 net per month and who have worked for the same employer for at least six months, the Sme daily wrote.

According to KOZ President Ivan Saktor, who holds KOZ card number 001, the credit card was custom-made for labour unionists, who are usually lower earners.

Observers believe the card is an effort to boost the KOZ's membership, which has fallen from around 700,000 in 2000 to 460,000 today.

Istrobanka, which is offering the card, is owned by the Austrian Bawag bank, which belongs to Austrian labour unions. Cooperation with labour unionists across Europe is standard practice for the bank, said bank spokeswoman Miroslava Remenárová.

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