Workers from the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency (SOVA) have reportedly gone on strike, demanding higher wages and better working conditions.
The move has raised concerns about national security, since part of SOVA employees’ role is to protect national security. However, the government says that SOVA is still carrying out its duties despite the strike.
Just like their work, Slovenian intelligence workers kept their strike secret, but details have gradually leaked to the media. As local weekly Reporter wrote, “Slovenian spies are on strike so secretly no one knows they are on strike”. According to Reporter, the strike started on December 1 and is due to last until December 8.
Despite low profile of the strike, Slovenia's Public Administration Minister Boris Koprivnikar described it as "surprising and unique”, and he stressed that Slovenia's spies are required by law to ensure the basic functioning of SOVA, AP reported.
SOVA states on its website that its basic activity is to protect national interests in the security, political, and economic fields, ie to provide national security.
Spooks have complained about their poor salaries and working conditions, even though, according to Reporter, they have considerably higher earnings than other civil servants, and receive additional benefits and pension payments.
SOVA claims on its website that salaries of its employees are “comparable to the salaries of other civil servants”.
However, the strike may be short-lived. A source confirmed to Reporter that management and workers’ unions are in talks and are likely to find a solution soon.
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