New Trade Union at Volkswagen Bratislava Has More than 6,000 Members

(stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 20 (TASR) – The recently established new trade union at Volkswagen Bratislava has already signed up more than 6,000 of the some 8,000 members of the original OZ KOVO trade union branch operating at the carmaker, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

“People have decided. We had more than 6,000 signatures yesterday. Moreover, signatures are continually coming in, and we’re processing them. This means that most people have switched from KOVO to a modern trade union,” said Zoroslav Smolinsky, founder of the new trade union at Volkswagen Slovakia, at a press conference in Bratislava earlier in the day.

“They did so not because they’re under pressure, but because they are free in their decision. We’ve been representing these people for many years, and they’re probably satisfied with our work,” he added.

Smolinsky also stated that he’s been contacted by various businesses and trade unions that would like to cooperate with the new union.

Elections for specific bodies of the new union should take place next year. “We have to stabilise the structures in a completely democratic way,” said Smolinsky.

Another challenge for the new trade union at Volkswagen is linked to the functioning of the company itself. “Employees have to be focused and to carry out their work correctly. We can’t allow any quarrels among the company management and among employees,” he added, noting that the social dialogue between the company management and representatives of employees must be restarted as soon as possible.

The OZ KOVO Board decided to dissolve the largest trade union branch in Slovakia – at Volkswagen Slovakia – on October 11 of this year, claiming that the branch violated OZ KOVO’s statutes by excluding one of its members. Smolinsky sees this as a power-driven ambition to take control over the union branch at Volkswagen and its assets amounting to over €1 million.

OZ KOVO claims that Smolinsky, along with OZ KOVO’s trade union committee at Volkswagen Bratislava, has constantly violated the union’s regulations, misleading its bodies and disrespecting their decisions.
Moreover, OZ KOVO submitted a criminal complaint against Smolinsky last week over what it called misleading, scurrilous and untrue statements about OZ KOVO and its chairman Emil Machyna.