REPRESENTATIVES of employees of Volkswagen Slovakia announced a strike alert on March 21 over the lack of results in collective bargaining with management, VW SK trade union head Zoroslav Smolinský told the TASR newswire.
"If the employer meets our demands at least partially, we'll withdraw the strike alert. Nonetheless, our employees need to know that the talks haven't moved in any way; and there's a real threat of a strike," said Smolinský, as quoted by TASR.
The trade unionists are demanding a salary hike of some six percent, an increase in the supplementary pension contributions and prolonging of paid leave.
The trade union representatives talked with the management on Friday for the first time in the presence of a mediator, who asked both sides to provide their materials for evaluation.
VW SK spokesman Vladimír Machalik reiterated on Friday that the company will not provide comments for the media before the talks have concluded. The next meeting is scheduled for March 26.
The talks began in January. VW SK proposed decreasing salaries by 4 percent due to austerity measures, in addition to shortened working hours. The trade unions rejected the proposal.
The company, which is one of the mainstays of Slovak industry, employs 9,400 people at its three plants - in Bratislava, Martin (Žilina Region) and Košice. The average nominal monthly salary at the company is more than €1,500. There has never been a strike at VW in Slovakia in the more than 22 years that the company has been active in the country.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
24. Mar 2014 at 14:00