Trade Unions at VW to Stage Protest against Discrimination

Volkswagen Slovakia. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 12 (TASR) – The trade unions at the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava are planning to stage a protest on Tuesday at 1 p.m. to denounce what they call a discriminatory approach of management against relatively more senior staff, TASR learnt on Monday.

VW Slovakia trade union head Zoroslav Smolinsky told TASR on Monday that he expects some 1,000 people to appear at the main factory gate to join the protest. According to him, part of the staff is uneasy with the fact that the management is giving out extraordinary perks to new people in order to achieve the desired number of employees at the plant.

As opposed to existing staff, new people are entitled to free transport for six months and a one-shot bonus of €500. Smolinsky calls this discrimination.

“If the personnel situation in, say, one month gets even worse, will they perhaps offer food for free to the new people? We’ll then have three categories of the staff – those with food and travel for free, another group with only travel free of charge, and then the senior staff that must pay for everything … The mood on production lines really isn’t good,” said Smolinsky.

Meanwhile, the management claims that all groups of its employees can receive some perks from its social programme. “It’s set so that both junior and senior staff could find perks for themselves or their families. Some perks depend on the number of years spent with the company, while other perks can be drawn at the beginning of the work contract. The social programme is flexible and is regularly adjusted to employees’ needs,” said VW Slovakia spokesperson Lucia Kovarovic Makayova.