VW's Slovakia unit faces strike over pay demand
Workers seek 6.8% increase
BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen Group may face a strike at its Bratislava plant after offering employees half the pay increase demanded by the factory's unions.
The plant, which opened in 1991 and has never had a strike, builds the VW Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne SUVs, alongside the VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo minicars.
Last year, it produced 210,400 cars and in the first half it made 209,400, an increase of 122 percent from a year earlier.
Volkswagen is offering a pay increase of 3.2 percent starting in January 2013 and two single payments of 100 euros ($129) each, it said in an e-mail reply to questions. The unions are asking for a 6.8 percent increase, the company said.
"We are confident that we will reach a deal this year from which all our staff will profit," Boris Michalik, head of labor relations at VW Slovakia said.
Vladimir Machalik, a VW Slovakia spokesman, confirmed that the head of the works council said that he is ready to negotiate and is also making preparations for a strike, as reported on Monday by Slovak news agency TASR.
"In the short term a strike shouldn't be a big deal for VW as the company is anyway adapting its production to lower demand, but of course it will depend on length of the strike," said Michael Punzet, an analyst at DZ Bank in Frankfurt.Contact Automotive News