Union at Volkswagen’s Skoda Auto accepts 12 percent wage increase offer

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Union representatives at Volkswagen-owned Skoda Auto (VOWG_p.DE) said on Friday they had accepted management’s offer to raise wages by 12 percent, averting a strike at one of the largest manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Skoda is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

The leadership of the Kovo union, which represents industrial workers, plans to vote on the proposal next Wednesday, which would cover the period from April 1, 2018 to the end of March 2019, although that is seen as a formality. The offer also includes increases in bonuses and incentives.

Czech wages have been rising rapidly across sectors, putting pressure on employers, following strong economic growth in recent years and a fall in unemployment to its lowest level in two decades.

Skoda, the country’s biggest exporter, has blossomed under nearly 30 years of Volkswagen ownership to become one of the group’s profit drivers, even beating operating margins at luxury brands Audi (NSUG.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) last year.

Reporting by Robert Mueller, Editing by Michael Kahn and Susan Fenton

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