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Slovenske Železnice Continuing with Wage, Workforce Cuts

Ljubljana, 12 September (STA) - Management representatives from the group around railway operator Slovenske železnice signed with the relevant union and workers' representatives on Friday an agreement on wage and staffing cuts that will allow the group to save EUR 50.5m in the coming three years.

The workforce cuts, continuing as part of an adopted business plan, will focus above all on the retiring of workers eligible for retirement, the inclusion of workers in redundancy programmes and other socially sustainable forms, the company wrote in a press release.

The group, which employed slightly over 8,000 workers at the end of 2012 while announcing a further reduction of 300-400 last year, is to reduce the workforce by another 754 in 2014 and 2015. It said this would cut annual labour costs by EUR 24.7m.

Labour costs will be cut by an additional EUR 3.8m with the shortening of the redundancy notice period from 150 to 80 days.

On the other hand, a 3% wage rise is to become effective on 1 January next year, following an agreement in 2011 which stipulated a 7% pay increase by 2014. "This means an increase in annual labour costs by EUR 5.3m," the company wrote.

Also, workers with the lowest wages will get a bonus in November, which will amount to EUR 3.5m in total and come after Slovenske železenice recorded an operating profit of EUR 4.26m in the first half of this year. An operating profit of EUR 22m is projected for the whole year.

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