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Workers at two companies announce strikes

EMPLOYEES of two engineering companies have either gone on strike or are considering striking over problems with their salaries. While people working in the Detva-based PPS Group are seeking higher salaries, employees of ZTS-OTS in Dubnica nad Váhom took part in a one-day strike to demand unpaid salaries that have been delayed for two months, the Sme daily reported in its April 8 issue.

EMPLOYEES of two engineering companies have either gone on strike or are considering striking over problems with their salaries. While people working in the Detva-based PPS Group are seeking higher salaries, employees of ZTS-OTS in Dubnica nad Váhom took part in a one-day strike to demand unpaid salaries that have been delayed for two months, the Sme daily reported in its April 8 issue.

The trade unions in the PPS Group, located in Banská Bystrica Region, announced they will go on strike on April 14 if they do not reach an agreement over salaries with the company’s management. The unions have delivered their requirements to the new collective agreement, which included a 6-percent growth in wages and an additional, so-called 13th, monthly salary in December 2013, said Stanislav Lupták, head of the local OZ KOVO branch, as reported by the TASR newswire.

“As many as 95 percent of PPS Group employees and 99 percent of employees hired through employment agencies have agreed with announcing the action,” Lupták added.

The trade unions want to return real salaries at least back to 2012 levels, when the average gross monthly salary stood at €1,051. In 2013, the average monthly gross salary fell to €975, a nominal drop by 7.25 percent (8.63 percent when factoring inflation).

The company’s management recently underwent significant changes. Giorgio Salomoni became the general director and Paula Salomoni became the chief financial officer as of April 1. Paula Salomoni described the trade unions’ decision as premature, as recent talks were held in a “positive spirit”.

Further talks are scheduled for April 8, when more details of what the union’s plans will be revealed if the talks fail to resolve the pay dispute, TASR wrote.

Meanwhile, more than 100 employees of the ZTS-OTS in Dubnica nad Váhom, Trenčín Region, staged a one-day strike. Some of the employees are ready to sign termination notices. The company currently employs 300 people.

“The social situation in our families is unbearable,” said Ľuba Backová, head of the local OZ KOVO branch.

Backová explained that the firm’s management told them at the meeting that about 110 employees have no job at the moment. This is a result of failed orders of train carriage components used on broad-gauge railways that were to be produced for the Russian market.

The company originally planned to employ up to 800 people to work on the order, but all activities in this area have been suspended, possibly for up to five months, Backová told TASR. When the situation in Ukraine calms down, they will probably start hiring new staff, she added.

The firm’s management meanwhile published a statement that about 65 percent of its employees were not paid for the month of January, and none of them received their wages for February. It also considers the trade unions’ requirement to pay the salaries unrealistic, “since the company currently has limited income” due to the situation on the market, as reported by TASR.

Source: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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