Nexteer Poland says it is enjoying healthy industrial relations with its main union following the recent signing of an agreement concerning severance packages.

The electric power steering supplier based in Tychy near Krakow in southern Poland, settled a dispute with the Solidarnosc union that eventually saw Nexteer agreeing to provide an extra month's severance pay.

"It [dispute] was to do with the severance package for employees in case the company needed to reorganise," Nexteer Automotive Poland president Rafal Wyszomirski told just-auto. "It was raised as a concern by the union and we worked out the solution which gave additional security.

"We have essentially added one month of severance pay - there are special rules about this in Poland for example with group dismissal situations."

Continuing the industrial relations theme, Wyszomirski noted there had been three weeks of "robust talks" to settle the pay increase for 2011, although no strikes occurred at the plant which is around 55% unionised.

"We normally negotiate salary increases once a year," said Wyszomirski. "For 2011 they were negotiated in September and we were one of the first companies that negotiated increases seven months before they actually occurred."

The Nexteer Poland chief added he met regularly with the union at the Tychy plant on a weekly basis, while there is also a Works Council.

"But just to make sure we have a bigger picture - because the union is not 100% - I also have Friday meetings [with workers]" he said.