Volkswagen Slovakia workers launch strike

- Agence France-Presse, BRATISLAVA

Jun 21, 2017-

Thousands of workers at Volkswagen Slovakia went on strike Tuesday over unmet demands for a 16 percent pay rise from the country’s largest private employer, a union official said.

Workers beat drums, shook rattles and hoisted banners outside the VW plant in the Slovak capital Bratislava as they downed tools.

“It is not about the salary. It is about the decency of the company. When it has such a big profits, it should be shared with workers,” striking VW worker Stanislav Galva told AFP in front of the profitable factory.

Trade union chief Zoroslav Smolinsky said Tuesday that up to 8,600 of the factory’s 12,300 employees were striking.

He also insisted workers were prepared “to strike for more than a day or two” after company officials offered a wage rise amounting to around half of their demands.

The average salary in the Bratislava VW plant is 1,800 euros ($2,014), excluding managers’ pay packets, according to the company. Slovakia’s average salary is 980 euros.

Volkswagen Slovakia management said in a Tuesday statement they had put a new offer on the table for an 8.9 percent wage hike.

They also “thanked” workers who they claim came to work Tuesday, although they did not say how many had stayed on the job.

“We are producing vehicles for the launch of the New Small Family (compact vehicle). All employees are being paid full wages,” VW Slovakia said in a statement.

Union chief Smolinsky told AFP Tuesday that “we don’t see much good will” from management.

Published: 21-06-2017 08:27

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