Tuesday, 29th September 2020, Velenje

Trade union announced a strike, although the company wants to pay workers more than 2 million euros in special bonus

Trade union announced a strike, although the company wants to pay workers more than 2 million euros in special bonus
Gorenje, d. o. o., on 25 September paid a special bonus for August to all employees in Gorenje's factories, IPC and Gorenje's support services directly related to production. We also intend to pay out this bonus for the following three months. Employees in production have been an extremely important part of the company's recent success with their quality and dedicated work, so the management decided to pay this bonus despite the fact that after the last three consecutive successful months, the company still shows a cumulative loss in the period January-August 2020. Upon this decision, Trade Union announced a strike. 

Special incentives for good performance in individual factories are part of the Hisense business system and we have already introduced them in production companies in Valjevo in Serbia and in Mora in the Czech Republic, where they have been well received by employees. They are based on the achievement of the goals of individual factories and the savings generated in this way, and therefore differ from factory to factory, but are also linked to the number of working hours by an individual worker. In Velenje, the trade union opposed the extraordinary bonus and demanded the payment of a bonus under the equalization system, otherwise it threatened to go on strike.

In several weeks of talks with the union, the management has already decided that the extraordinary bonus be paid retrospectively (for August), which was not initially planned. The management even approached the union with regard to the equalization system, as we decided to calculate 50% of the allowance in the same amount for everyone (regardless of the factory), and only half of the amount is calculated according to the actual result of each factory where the worker works.

We believe this is the right way for both employees and the company. For the first time in the company's history, we are rewarding on the basis of actual measurable results. We are aware that some employees were not satisfied with the amount of the bonus for August, but the August ampunt, due to collective leave and consequently fewer working hours, was also much lower compared to the coming months. Already in September, the bonus will be between 30 and 40 percent higher than in August. However, in the event of a strike, even a short-term one and only with a small number of striking employees, the planned rewards for the next three months will immediately be cancelled. According to a rough estimate, an individual employee would get around 500 euro gross on average.

We believe that this time the trade union brought the company and its employees into a completely absurd situation, when the company wanted to financially reward the workers with an extra bonus, for which we would allocate more than 2 million euros, and the union announced a strike because of that. “The strike, if carried out, would mean a loss for both employees and the company, we will both feel the damage. The company will not fulfill orders, as a result it will suffer a loss of revenue, which will worsen the result and thus there will be fewer opportunities for future rewards, and employees will not receive the bonuses they have already deserved," says Alex Zhu, President of Hisense Europe Group. "We want to encourage and reward efficiency, the old balancing/equalization system is a thing of the past. We have excellent workers here and I trust our employees to think about the announced strike with their own heads. I believe that they will be able to make the right decisions on their own and that together we will continue to further build the success achieved in the past three months, rather than demolishing everything we have already achieved with dedicated hard work.

If the strike ahould happen, it will not be paid as it is not a breach of collective agreement.