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One-third of Košice's public transport drivers go on strike

Roughly a third of drivers working for the Košice Public Transport Company (DPMK) took part in a strike on Thursday, February 3, to express opposition to proposed changes to the Labour Code, the TASR newswire reported DPMK board chairman Igor Jutka as saying.

Roughly a third of drivers working for the Košice Public Transport Company (DPMK) took part in a strike on Thursday, February 3, to express opposition to proposed changes to the Labour Code, the TASR newswire reported DPMK board chairman Igor Jutka as saying.

A total of 69 out of 154 employed bus drivers went on strike, amounting to 45 percent, with four out of 45 tram drivers (8 percent) and three out of 18 trolley-bus drivers (17 percent) joining their ranks. Jutka said that the striking drivers would get no pay for the time they spent protesting but that the company would not apply further sanctions. Jutka apologised on behalf of the DPMK to the public for any inconvenience caused.

The KOVO trade union together with the Integrated Trade Union failed in their attempt to bring Košice's public transport system to a halt, however. Drivers for the Eurobus coach company and for Košice City Transport, which together provide 220 lines, had reportedly been planning to join the strike. But KOVO chairman Emil Machyňa told the SITA newswire that after the unionists blocked the gateway to Košice Bus Station, police intervened and took strikers away.

Head of the bus unions Gustáv Hudák was removed from a bus he intended to prevent from leaving and taken to a police station for questioning. However, paramedics then had to be called to attend to him. "He hurt his knee after the police intervention and felt sick and reported chest pain at the police station," Machyňa said.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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