Images of Skoda Fabia R5

Trade unions at Skoda turn down latest wage offer

Trade unions at Volkswagen‘s Czech automaker Skoda Auto have turned down the company’s latest wage increase offer, the unions stated on Wednesday.

Unions said recently that they were beginning preparations for a possible extended strike, a rare occasion in the main European nation whose economic development is moved by the car sector.

With strong development over the last few years and unemployment dropping to its lowest level in 20 years, wages have been rising quick throughout sectors, putting pressure on companies.

In Germany, Volkswagen agreed raise the wages of an estimated of 120,000 employees by 4.3 percent from May, solving a disagreement that triggered its first strikes since 2004.

Czech media have reported that Skoda, the nation’s leading exporter, with sales topping 1 million cars for 4 years in a row, offered its employees a 15 percent pay hike over the next 27 months in the latest round of talks.

Unions rejected that and pushed management to drop its demands to present a new shift system and persistence on spreading out the pay raise over such an extended period.

“Otherwise there is absolutely nothing to negotiate,” the unions stated.

Unions made no additional mention of a strike in the recent statement. Talks between the two are arranged to resume on February 27. Skoda refused to comment.

Skoda, Volkswagen’s second-most profitable brand in regards to operating margin, reported another record year for sales in 2017 with international deliveries up 6.6 percent to 1.2 million vehicles.

Skoda’s Czech plants represented 60.7 percent of the nation’s car production in last year, followed by Hyundai Motor and a joint plant of Toyota and Peugeot Citroen.

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