ZŤS workers laid off

The Board of Directors of ZŤS TEES Martin, a heavy engineering company, held talks on September 2 to resolve a situation in which the company's employees have been at home without work since August 31. The KOVO trade union is demanding that the workers be guaranteed 100% of their wages, since the problem lies with the fact that the company does not have enough work for them to do. The company is asking the union to accept a 60% wage.

While ZŤS management did not release specific details of their financial troubles, KOVO union leader Emil Machyňa said the plant has debts of over 8 billion Sk ($220 million), and with only 30 tractors sold this year to Slovak farmers, will have to shut down in the near future. The plant's output was 2.1 billion Sk for 1997, while this year it was down to 531 million Sk. The monthly wages of workers have fallen 800 to 1,350 Sk below what had been called for in the year's collective agreement.

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