The attachment herein presents the Union’s demands and the respective Management Board standpoints, which make it obvious that there are no grounds for the strike. It is also clear that the Management Board has offered a number of solutions in order that this strike might have been avoided.
The issue of occupational safety - which is often alluded to by the workers on strike - is hardly mentioned in the strike demands. Our company is continuously subject to various inspection services, and thus far occupational safety has never been an issue at Luka Koper; accordingly, any safety issues brought to the attention of management certainly cannot be a reason to go on strike.
The statements that the strikers’ representatives provide the media in relation to “degraded workers” and “hazardous working conditions” are an exercise in pure demagogy. Luka Koper enjoys one of the most favourable collective agreements in the country, salaries are above average, all employees receive a 13th salary annually, as well as paid holiday and bonuses for efficiency. Despite the recession, and the consequent decrease in cargo throughput as well as fall in revenues, salaries have not been reduced and nor have workers been laid off. Thus it is nonsense to speak of the degradation of workers.
Other employees – whose numbers exceed those of the Crane Operators Union – are well aware of the above, and other unions in the company have publicly declared that they are against the strike. These workers understand the current state of Slovenia’s economy and realise the efforts we have all invested in order to extricate this company from one of the largest crisis in its history; and all of this is being achieved without dismissing personnel or reducing the salaries or social security of workers.
At this point, it is the Management Board’s priority to minimise the damage to our clients and facilitate safe working conditions for those who want to work. At the same time Management has received a deal of information and complaints from employees in relation to incidents of victimisation and even threat of physical attack. Such is unacceptable, and the Management Board will not allow it.
The crane operators strike and the spontaneous protest of some sub-contractors should be distinguished; these are two separate issues. Luka Koper remains sympathetic to the grievances of contract workers, we fully comprehend their distress, but unfortunately we enjoy no competences in this area; indeed, we expect their employers - our contractual partners - to resolve mutual issues to the benefit of all. The company shall do everything in its power to ensure that all new contracts with port service providers include provisions in relation to mandatory adherence to labour legislation.
Each employee has their role in any company; our company is managed by its Management Board and not a union. Yes to social dialogue, but without resort to threat or blackmail. We kindly ask for your understanding and support of the activities of the Luka Koper Management Board which wants - once and for all - to stabilise internal conditions within the company and provide you a facility that fully supports your undisturbed operations.