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First union agreement reached at SKF factory in Czech Republic

3 July, 2017The newly born union signed their first collective agreement on 28 June 2017 at SKF Lubrications in Chodov, Czech Republic.

The process started two years ago when, through the combined efforts of SKF factory workers, members of IndustriALL Czech affiliate OZ KOVO, and the assistance of the SKF World Union Committee, a new union organization was set up at the SKF site in Chodov.

This is a small organization of 33 people at the factory of 457 employees, with their biggest customer being Swedish truck manufacturer SCANIA. But this group of dedicated union activists made a major step forward by inviting factory management to discussions. The discussions became negotiations and finally the signing of the first collective agreement covering all employees at the factory.

Through the conclusion of the agreement workers received a number of benefits including among others:

  • Six per cent increase of the base hourly wages for blue collar and three per cent for white collar workers,
  • Christmas bonus of minimum 50 per cent independent of the financial situation at the site
  • Meal allowance from the first day of employment (before it was only after the trial period)
  • A fifth week of vacation
  • Bonus for afternoon shifts and work on weekends, as well as compensation for overtime work on weekends.

Announcing the agreement, the local union chairman Vasileios Prodromou said,

"We signed the historical first collective agreement, which contains very attractive benefits and grows our salaries more than the local average!”

After the visit of Kenneth Carlsson, chairman of the SKF World Union Council, who met and spoke to the workers at the factory, new members joined the ranks of the union.

Kenneth Carlsson said,

The recently concluded first collective agreement in SKF Chodov is a good example of what we can achieve through union cooperation across country borders, as part of a global union network sharing knowledge and experiences in the best interest for our employees.”

Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director for mechanical machinery and materials industry, responsible for SKF World Union Committee on behalf of IndustriALL said,

“We congratulate wholeheartedly our brothers and sisters at SKF Chodov factory. The creation of a union and conclusion of a new collective bargaining agreement is a wonderful example how global union networks function and how the global solidarity of IndustriALL can help to make the union family grow."