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Mercedes workers strike, firm open to talks

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A total of 60 workers held a two-hour strike today at the local plant of German car manufacturer Mercedes in Kecskemét, central Hungary, following another round of unsuccessful wage negotiations, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. The factory said in a statement it is committed to holding further talks.

Zoltán László of the Federation of Metalworkers’ Unions (Vasas) said his organization held another round of wage negotiations with the factory’s management yesterday as they consider the partnership between the factory and the Free Union of Engineers and Technicians (MMTSzSz) as invalid, MTI reported. The unions maintain their demand for a 15% wage rise and want to sign a one-year agreement; the negotiations are expected to continue, MTI added. 

In response to the strike, the factory issued a statement confirming that its management had signed a two-year wage agreement with MMTSzSz, according to MTI. This agreement was not signed by the metalworkersʼ federation, the factoryʼs management said, adding that they are ready to hold further negotiations.

At the beginning of November, Hungary’s Kecskemét-based Mercedes-Benz factory was reported to be possibly facing a strike, as the Vasas union continued to demand a 15% wage rise, claiming it cannot accept a freezing of wage hikes for two years.

Following the reports, the management of Mercedes-Benz Hungary sent a statement to the BBJ claiming it aimed to reach an agreement with all workersʼ unions and representative organizations in connection with pay rises.

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