Volkswagen Slovakia Trade Union Issues Strike Threat

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Bratislava, April 18 (TASR) – Volkswagen Slovakia (VW SK) car producer is facing the threat of a strike after the new Volkswagen Modern Trade Union (MOV) on Tuesday voiced its dissatisfaction with the progress and results of the talks with the plant’s management thus far.

“It’s astounding that VW SK management are leading the collective bargaining talks without showing the faintest understanding for the situation in the company and the working and salary conditions of its employees,” wrote MOV on its social network account.

MOV said that its demands are fully derived from what it said were the company’s excellent financial results last year. The overall developments on the Slovak labour market and economy are also a factor in MOV’s demands.

Among other things, the trade union demands a 16-percent increase in salaries, higher bonuses for shift work, extra holiday days and longer rest breaks at work.

MOV also said that, unless some headway is made on their demands at the upcoming meeting this Thursday, it will suspend the talks. In which case, the trade union will request the assistance of the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry to act as a mediator. At the same time, MOV will begin to gear up for a full-fledged strike.

VW SK spokesperson Lucia Kovarovic Makayova said that the company wouldn’t comment on the possibility of a strike due to the ongoing nature of the talks.

The talks were resumed on March 29 following an interruption of almost two months. This was after an arbiter appointed by the aforementioned ministry to deal with a dispute between MOV and the original KOVO trade union branch at the carmaker had decided that MOV is entitled to represent the staff in the collective bargaining.

VW SK posted its best results ever in several regards in 2016. Its turnover reached a billion last year, having risen by 5.1 percent on the year. VW SK’s profit before tax reached €234.1 million. The plant in Bratislava produced 388,697 vehicles and 263,700 gearboxes last year. The plant in Martin (Zilina region) produced 33.3 million car parts while the facility in Stupava near Bratislava manufactured 21,000 tools for car production.

The company also wrapped up its five-year investment programme last year, having spent €1.9 billion on it since 2012. The investments reached their apex last year, soaring by 33 percent annually to reach €550.7 million. In the wake of the investments, the company hired an additional 1,500 employees last year, increasing staff levels to 12,300.