It requests better support for the European steel industry and a fairer business environment in Europe.
“We have been heard little,” said Juraj Varga, head of the trade unions in USSK, as quoted by Korzár.
Trade unions have instead turned to the cabinet ministers and PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) with their demands.
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“Not only do we need to be heard in these times but we need measures to get through this period,” Varga said, as quoted by Korzár.
They want the Slovak government to create better conditions for steelworkers not only in Slovakia, but also in Europe.
USSK has already shortened the working week to four days and cut workers' wages on Fridays by 40 percent. The shorter week is expected to continue in August, Varga said.
Trade unions are doing their best to avoid mass layoffs, which may have fatal social impacts on the region, he added.
“It is assumed that the solution to the reduction of employees will be motivational programmes as the collective agreement suggests,” Varga added, as quoted by Korzár.
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The Košice-based steelworks understands the petition as a natural reaction, adding the situation is “very complicated and also requires quick steps on the side of politicians”.
The company admitted that its decision will have an impact on thousands of families in the region but the survival of USSK is a priority.
“We must get ready for the future,” said USSK head James Bruno, as quoted by Korzár. “Besides, the competition is very tough in today's unequal conditions.”
In the meantime, other trade unions joined the petition as well. These include unionists in Žiar nad Hronom and Krompachy, the Železiarne Podbrezová company, and the OFZ Istebné ferroalloy manufacturer.
24. Jul 2019 at 13:40 | Compiled by Spectator staff