Bratislava public transport drivers to go on strike

Drivers organise warning strike for September 2.

The Bratislava public transport drivers' warning strike takes place on September 2, 2019. The Bratislava public transport drivers' warning strike takes place on September 2, 2019. (Source: SITA)

The head of the Autošofér trade union, one of the trade unions organisations at the Bratislava Transport Company (DPB), has been calling on the management to tackle several issues they have been struggling with for a few weeks. He even threatened a warning strike, the SITA newswire reported.

Recently, some Bratislava public transport drivers have announced that they will go on a strike on September 2 from 4:00 to 7:00. It is also the day when pupils return to school after the summer holiday.

“We realise we are financed from taxpayers' money and therefore, we want to do our service for citizens responsibly,” said Jozef Hitka, head of Autošofér, as quoted by SITA. “But our employer does not allow this.”

The DPB does not see any reason for the strike. They regularly adopt measures to make a driver's job more attractive, according to the company. It also assured that the strike will not affect the public transport in the capital.

Unionists' demands

“This strike is being held due to the unsatisfactory conditions of drivers and unguaranteed social benefits,” Hitka said, as quoted by SITA.

Drivers are allegedly bullied, and the collective agreement is still invalid, according to the trade unions organisation. These are just some of the reasons why the trade union will begin a three-hour strike in early September.

They also demand new working rules to be created, which should secure a better position of drivers within the company, SITA wrote.

DPB: Unionists are not united

DPB does not think a huge number of drivers will take part in the warning strike, referring to an internal survey. Nevertheless, the DPB respects its workers' right to strike.

Regarding the claim about the invalid collective agreement, it said that the negotiations cannot proceed since there are several trade unions at the DPB which are not united.

“The company is waiting for a mediator to be assigned by the Labour Ministry to choose one trade union authorised to conclude the collective agreement,” DPB spokesperson Adriana Volfová said, as quoted by SITA.

The company promised to renew the talks once this matter is settled.

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