Slovak Telekom: strike, privatisation and no compensation

Slovak Telekom, which is part-owned by the state (49%) and partly by Deutsche Telekom (51%), is facing the threat of a strike after the telecom trade union organisation announced a strike alert on Monday over job cuts.

Employees are trying to stop the company from axing up to 730 jobs instead of the originally planned figure of 280. Head of the telecom trade union, Milan Brlej, said they were demanding that the company respect the Labour Code, overtime limits and stop the use of temp agencies to hire workers.

The government recently announced the privatisation of its stake in Slovak Telekom (ST), with majority owner Deutsche Telekom expected to take advantage of its right of first refusal. If ST becomes fully owned by the German concern, more job cuts and reorganisation could follow.

This week the company also contested a decision of the Telecommunications Office, which rejected Slovak Telekom’s claim to compensation for the provision of a universal service in 2005 and 2006, i.e. the operation of public phone booths, among other things. ST now wants to take the case to the high court.

ST is claiming that the Telecommunications Office did not base its decision on calculations, but merely on the fact that the universal service did not put an excessive burden on the company in the period in question.

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