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Metalworkers union declares strike alert

THE OZ KOVO metalworkers trade union declared a strike alert on January 8 after wage negotiations with employers from the Slovak Engineering Industry Association (ZSP) ground to a halt.

THE OZ KOVO metalworkers trade union declared a strike alert on January 8 after wage negotiations with employers from the Slovak Engineering Industry Association (ZSP) ground to a halt.

The head of the OZ KOVO council, Emil Machyna, told the SITA newswire that if the unions and employers fail to agree, there will be a strike.

Machyna did not want to specify what form the protests could take, but he did say first ones could be held in February.

He emphasised that the union wants to resolve the situation without resorting to a confrontation, preferably in a discussion.

OZ KOVO is complaining that the employers are not willing to come to an agreement. The union is asking for a seven-percent average wage increase, and the employers have offered three percent.

Machyna pointed to the considerable growth of the Slovak economy and the permanent increase in profits and labour productivity for Slovak engineering companies. He added that Slovakia has the highest labour productivity per capita and the lowest labour costs in the Visegrad Four.

The head negotiator for the ZSP, Juraj Borguľa, said a strike alert was possible after negotiations with trade unionists were halted in their fifth week at the end of December, and showed no signs of being renewed soon.

Both sides agreed to ask the Labour Ministry for a mediator to solve the collective dispute.

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