Unions will protest against new rules for hiring foreigners

They claim that foreign workers do not have the same conditions as their Slovak colleagues.

Emil MachynaEmil Machyna (Source: TASR)

The trade unions association OZ KOVO is set to organise a protest in Bratislava on April 28, demonstrating against plans to introduce more liberal rules concerning the employment of foreigners in Slovakia.

As many as 400-500 people are expected to take part in the protest, the TASR newswire reported.

“We accept people from Serbia, for example,” said Emil Machyna, head of OZ KOVO, as quoted by the Denník N daily. “But they often don’t have the same conditions, working time, the collective agreement doesn’t apply on them, so it is then hard to force the employer to act differently.”

Currently, the unemployment rate in Slovakia has hit record low levels, amounting to 8.04 percent in late March. Big companies say the jobless are not interested in their job offers, however, thus they have to seek workers abroad, Denník N wrote.

The workforce required could still be found within Slovakia, the trade unions claim. Moreover, they opine that if companies want to hire foreigners so much, they should hire them under the same conditions pertaining to Slovaks.

OZ KOVO is determined to hold talks with the Labour Ministry regarding changes in legislation to this effect, TASR reported.

Read also:Slovakia to open labour market to foreigners Read more 

Serbs dominate among foreigners that come to work in Slovakia, while Ukrainians top the list of employees from so-called third countries, according to TASR.

Though the trade unions do not oppose the plans to hire foreign workers, they claim they should have the same working and salary conditions as Slovaks.

The statistics of the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family suggest more than 35,000 foreigners currently work in Slovakia. While citizens of EU member states have free access to our labour market, those coming from non-EU countries often avoid the laws by being hired in other EU states and then coming to Slovakia, Denník N reported.

This is also the case of some 6,000 Serbs currently working in Slovakia who can officially stay here for three months, according to the daily.

Though the companies ask for loosening conditions for Serbs, the Labour Ministry refuses such a step, Denník N reported.

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