Slovak President Andrej Kiska marked May day by visiting U.S. Steel Kosice in Eastern Slovakia, the largest private employer in the country with more than 12,000 employees, he criticised the energy price during the visit.
Kiska stated that U.S. Steel Kosice president George Babcoke told him that he's most of all proud of the company's employees - from blue-collar workers up to the management.
"This creates quality and a huge advantage over the others," stressed Kiska, adding that Babcoke complained about high prices of energy.
"Electricity prices in Slovakia are twice as high as in the USA, while natural gas is three times as expensive. Excessively expensive energy increases production costs and reduces competitiveness," pointed out Kiska.
Meanwhile, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico attended May day celebrations at Zilina.
"I want to take advantage of May day to say that we support trade union ideas, mainly when it comes to the Labor Code, collective bargaining, employment via agencies and increasing the minimum wage,"
"I'll support all ambitions to increase the minimum wage to approach the level of 400 euros (about 448 U.S. dollars) per month as closely as possible," said Fico, adding that an improvement in the working and legal conditions of employees doesn't increase unemployment.
"We're modifying the Labor Code in rather a leftist direction. We've tackled agency employment, which had been creating slavery-like conditions. Despite this, unemployment is falling," concluded Fico.