Thousands of workers marched in eastern Slovakian city of Kosice on March 19, Tuesday, demanding higher wages.The call for the demonstration was given by OZ KOVO labor union, a Slovakian affiliate of IndustriAll.
TASR reported that around 3,000 workers participated in the march. Trade unionists said during the meeting that it was high time that salaries in Slovakia matched European standards.
Jozef Balica of OZ KOVO labor union pointed out that the actual salaries of Slovaks were very low. Giving an example, he said that while the average gross wage is 1,013 euros, the net salary amounts to 770 Euros, adding that even this salary was earned by merely 30% of the employees. “The situation in eastern Slovakia is even more dramatic as nearly half the workers do not earn even EUR 616”, he added.
The Kosice committee of the Communist Party of Slovakia took part in the mobilization and expressed its solidarity with the workers.
“Labor productivity in Slovakia reaches 80% of the productivity of the most developed countries in the European Union, but the level of wages is only 30% of the level of developed EU countries. Exploitation, slave labor, increased overtime, poor social security, and labor safety violations are all accepted. Foreign and domestic capital, through employers, produces profits and exports them beyond the borders of our country to the detriment of those they exploit. The Slovak worker is not a slave, “ the Communist Party of Slovakia said, in a statement.