The second biggest carmaker in the country, Žilina-based Kia Motors Slovakia, has started dismissing its employees due to the dropping interest in cars with diesel engines, the Sme daily reported.
The staff started complaining about the recent steps in a Facebook group where they can send their comments and questions anonymously. Several of them wrote that the carmaker has dismissed 50 people without any warning. Some of them even wrote they had not received a replacement offer, while others mentioned mass layoffs.
Kia Motors Slovakia denied the statements about mass layoffs, but admitted for Sme that it had dismissed 27 employees.
“We will be making organisational changes on February 1, which require the abolition of 27 positions, exclusively in the diesel engine production hall,” the carmaker’s spokesperson Jozef Bačé told Sme.
Carmaker rejects the claims
Kia Motors Slovakia currently employs about 3,800 people. To meet the conditions for mass layoffs, as defined by the Labour Code, it will have to dismiss at least 30 people.
The reason for laying off 27 employees is the dropping interest in cars with diesel engines.
“Last year we produced 35 percent fewer diesel engines than in 2017,” Bačé said, as quoted by Sme, adding that this is why the carmaker had to make changes and optimise the number of employees on the production lines.
At the same time, the carmaker rejects the claims that it has not informed its employees. On the contrary, its intention was to solve the situation in advance.
“Moreover, the unfavourable situation in the engine shop, which produces diesel engines, is nothing new,” the carmaker said, as quoted by Sme.
The company had to stop one shift last year due to the lower demand and moved the employees to petrol engine production and car assembly.
Other jobs offered
The carmaker admits it has no free positions and has not hired any new people since last November either.
This is why it could not offer any position in the plant to the 27 workers dismissed. Instead, it offered jobs outside at its biggest supplier: Hyundai Mobis Slovakia, which is situated directly on its premises. They were also offered severance payment that exceeds the sum defined by the law and collective agreement.
“Most of them accepted the higher severance payment,” Bačé told Sme.
21. Jan 2019 at 14:08 | Compiled by Spectator staff