Jaguar Land Rover will ceremonially launch operations at its €1.4 bln Nitra plant next Thursday

Local trade unions and the carmaker have agreed on a wage rise even before the official launch of production.

The new Jaguar Land Rover plant in NitraThe new Jaguar Land Rover plant in Nitra (Source: TATRA)

British-Indian carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will officially launch its brand new production plant in Nitra on October 25. The first test cars, manufactured as part of the final preparations before the plant is opened, rolled off the production lines in early September. More than 1,300 people are currently working at the plant, with an additional 150 operators expecting to join them by the end of the year.

The carmaker aims to produce 150,000 vehicles per year at the plant, with the Land Rover Discovery being the first model to be manufactured.

“Within two years we’d like to start producing a second model, but we won’t specify what that will be for now,” said the company’s operations manager Alexander Wortberg, as cited by the TASR newswire.

Biggest one-off wage hike in the Slovak automotive industry

Just few days ago the trade union organisation at the carmaker, Modern Trade Union Aios Jaguar Land Rover Slovakia, agreed on pay hikes for employees of the Nitra plant with the company management. The collective agreement between the management and the trade union was signed on October 13 and will be in force until the end of next year.

“Through intensive negotiations, we’ve achieved the largest one-off salary increase in the automotive industry in Slovakia,” said Peter Mrázik, chairman of the Trade Union Basic Organisation, as cited by TASR.

Read also: Jaguar will need people from abroad for its plant in Slovakia Read more 

The wages of blue-collar workers will increase between 5.43 and 10 percent. The pay of access control assistants and production operators, whose starting salary was €650 per month, has increased by 10 percent due to collective bargaining to €715. Other salary increases are for recruitment team staff, coordinators and product coaching staff - from €892 up 7.4 percent to €958, and for administrators and specialist workers - from €1,196 up 5.43 percent to €1,261. The average salaries of non-management production workers, previously set to start at €900, will now range from €997 to €1,744. The new wage tariff will be valid as of November 1.

In addition to salaries, a number of other benefits for employees beyond the legislative framework have been agreed on within the Collective Agreement.

JLR investment

JLR started construction of the plant in Nitra two years ago. It intends to employ 2,800 workers by 2020. Experts estimate that another 22,000 indirect jobs will be created in Slovakia by subcontracting companies.

The carmaker has invested €1.4 billion in the construction of the plant, while another €129 million has been provided by Slovakia in the form of state aid. Early in October, the European Commission approved the level of Slovak investment aid for JLR, saying that the aid was in accordance with EU rules on state aid.

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