Slovak bus drivers may go on strike on Tuesday, May 25. According to Emil Machyna from the KOVO Union, speaking to the TASR newswire, if the union and the Slovak Bus Transport (SAD) company and regional governments do not reach an agreement concerning benefits for employees, the drivers are ready to strike. However, they drivers and their union later said they would meet on Tuesday to decide how to proceed further.
Machyna said the talks are still in progress, stressing that going on strike is not the objective, however. “If it comes to that, we're ready to shut down the bus service. It's the most effective way to do it, because people will then realise how important our cause is,” he said.
Collective bargaining between the Unions and SAD ended up in deadlock last week, providing the impetus for the union to reveal their strike plans. Machyna pointed a paradox that SAD agrees with the demands of the union but does not want to sign the agreement, claiming that all eight regional governments must approve the demands first.
“However, the regional governments are not our negotiating partner; it's SAD with which we're supposed to sign a Collective Agreement with.”
Regional presidents still have not agreed on whether regions will allocate money from their budgets to cover benefits for Slovak Bus Transport (SAD) drivers and their close relatives, the demand that stands in the way of agreement between SAD and the bus drivers.
The talks are still in progress and some of the eight regional governors (for instance in Banská Bystrica, Trenčín and Žilina) are reported to be willing to seek solutions. However, Trnava region (TSK) president Tibor Mikuš, who now chairs the Association of Regional Governments says he sees no scope for granting benefits to bus drivers and their families right now. He said the topic can only be raised when the situation in the national economy is stable.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
24. May 2010 at 15:00