Problems Continue at Županja Combine Harvester Factory

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, March 6, 2019 – The management of the Same Deutz Fahr Žetelice company, the Croatian Metal Workers’ Union and the striking committee of the company’s combine harvester factory in the eastern Croatian town of Županja agreed to a wage increase at their meeting in Treviglio, Italy earlier this month, but the striking committee is not particularly satisfied, the committee’s chairman Marko Ivkošić said on Tuesday.

It was agreed that the monthly wage would be increased by 487.50 kuna gross for this year, by an additional 112.50 kuna for 2020 and a further 150 kuna for 2021, on the condition that the trade union did not negotiate further changes to the collective agreement or wage hikes by March 1, 2022.

“We are not particularly pleased with the outcome, so I will have to ask for workers’ opinions. I’m afraid that skilled workers will continue leaving because the pay is still low,” Ivkošić told the press, adding that eight workers had left the factory during a recent strike.

He recalled that the average monthly wage at the factory was about 3,500 kuna net, adding that 85 young workers had left in the last two years aware that they could earn more than 2,000 kuna for similar jobs in western Europe.

The strike at the factory started on January 9 over low wages. The factory owners tried to contest the legality of the industrial action in court but the Vukovar County Court has found the strike to be legal. The owners then appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld the appeal and banned the strike. The workers returned to their jobs and resumed production on February 8.

The workers had demanded an increase in gross wage of 740 kuna plus an 8% allowance for special working conditions in production, which the owners rejected. A failed conciliation process was then followed by a strike.

More news about agriculture in Croatia can be found in the Business section.


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