AVC Čadca, which supplies car producers, is leaving the Slovak Engineering Industry Association (ZSP) in protest at a recently-signed collective agreement with trade unions. ZSP signed the agreement with OZ KOVO, the trade union organisation representing engineering workers, in mid March pushing up wages in Slovakia's key industrial sectors by 6.5 percent.
The company, which employs 500 workers and has sales of almost Sk700 million, is criticising the agreement for giving too many privileges to the trade unions.
"The agreement has taken significant competences away from firms in their negotiation over collective agreements," Ján Klimko, the head of the board of directors of AVC Čadca, told the Trend economic weekly.
According to the collective agreement signed by ZSP, member-companies will have to collect union membership fees from their employees and pay local trade union officials. These officials will be protected from lay-offs for 12 months following the end of their terms as representatives of the trade union. Klimko also criticised the agreement for letting trade unions into the process of categorising individual jobs which should, according to him, be an exclusive competence of the company's management.
Klimko said that his company had warned Milan Cagala, the ZSP president, about the consequences of the agreement, but that the association signed it nonetheless.
"We do not see any sense in remaining in the organisation, since it is not pursuing the interests of its members," said Klimko.