- 17 Dec 2009
Czech Republic: Trade unions push for limited opening hours at Christmas
In October 2009, trade unions in the Czech Republic appealed to chain stores to limit opening hours of their shops during Christmas this year. For example, they called on shops to remain open on Christmas Eve until 14.00 at the latest. In 2008, some hypermarkets closed on Christmas Eve only several hours later, mostly between 16.00 and 17.00. According to the unions, shops should remain closed on 25 December and should not reopen sooner than 26 December 2009.
- 26 Oct 2009
Czech Republic: Threat of strike by public transport workers averted
The Prague Public Transit Company Inc. has been in financial difficulty since early 2009. The company and trade unions blame Prague City Hall for this, as it provided the company with less funds for common operations than in 2008. In June 2009, the trade unions issued a joint statement threatening strike action if Prague City Hall did not address the company’s troubled financial situation. Although this ultimatum ended in August, the strike alert continues.
- 26 Oct 2009
Czech Republic: Debate over regulating flexible forms of employment
According to the Czech news server iHNed, employers tend to abuse flexible forms of employment more frequently during times of economic recession. If an employee working on an employment contract is dismissed, the employer can rehire the worker on the basis of an agreement for performance of a work assignment. However, based on this agreement, neither the employer nor the employee is required to give back social and health insurance contributions.
- 14 Oct 2009
Czech Republic: Reduced working week may stem unemployment growth
In an attempt to reduce unemployment, the Czech state is preparing an option for companies to introduce, under certain circumstances, a four-day working week. A working group, comprising representatives of the ministries of labour and finance, trade unions and employers, proposes that staff on compulsory leave should receive 60% of their salary from the employer and 20% from the state. This strategy would be cheaper than paying unemployment benefits.
- 22 Sep 2009
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Steel industry – Czech Republic
The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the steel industry in the Czech Republic. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.
- 18 Sep 2009
Czech Republic – Greening the European Economy: responses and initiatives by Member States and social partners
In the recent two years, the Czech Republic has advanced towards the green economy, success was made in acquiring money for environmental investment. Green technologies, according to the statement of Martin Bursík, ex Minister of the Environment, have become part of the government anti-crisis measures.
- 15 Sep 2009
Czech Republic: Flexicurity and industrial relations
Statistics suggest that labour market deregulation processes during the Czech Republic’s economic and social transformation led to an increase in the incidence of various forms of flexible employment. In certain areas this trend accelerated after the Czech Republic joined the European Union and adopted corresponding legislation, e.g. as regards agency employment. Nevertheless, compared with the EU average, and the average in the original 15 member states in particular, these forms are less developed in the Czech Republic.
- 19 Aug 2009
Czech Republic: Social partners take joint action to tackle economic crisis
On 11 February 2009, representatives of the largest national trade union organisation and the leading employer organisations held a meeting in Prague to develop measures toreduce the impact of the economic crisis on the Czech economy. The social partners jointly urged the government to fully involve them in developing measures to cope with the crisis. Moreover, they called on the government to support actions taken by the EU and start to implement them immediately.
- 12 Aug 2009
Czech Republic: Czech Airlines cuts wages in preference to dismissals
The national air carrier Czech Airlines intended to dismiss up to 200 people if employees did not accept a wage cut. The company has already informed the Labour Office about potential mass redundancies. At present, Czech Airlines employs about 4,700 people and, based on the information of the Czech News Agency, the average monthly wage across the company amounts to CZK 59,000 (about € 2,311). However, pilots have finally agreed to a 6.5% wage cut in order to save jobs.
- 10 Aug 2009
Czech Republic: Social partners disagree over reform of research and development funding
The Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic take different views on the planned financial reform of state-funded research and development. This reform will mostly affect the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and its employees. Substantial cutbacks are envisaged due to the current economic crisis. However, more funds will be allocated to applied research with a direct impact on manufacturing.
- 29 Jul 2009
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Tanning and leather sector – Czech Republic
The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the tanning and leather sector in the Czech Republic. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.
- 06 Jul 2009
Czech Republic: Czech employers push for measures to boost economy
In April 2009, at a general meeting of the country’s largest employer organisation, the Czech Confederation of Industry, the employers raised many essential requirements and appealed to the Czech government, the parliament and the entire political representation to fulfil them. Demands include investment in research and development, a date for euro adoption, an increase in infrastructure investments, timely payments, a Labour Code amendment and an evaluation of measures.
- 06 Jul 2009
Czech Republic: Trade unions protest against abuse by companies of recession
In May 2009, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions held a demonstration highlighting the impact of the economic crisis and protesting against companies allegedly using the crisis as a pretext to reduce wages and employee benefits. The demonstration was part of the European action days organised by the European Trade Union Confederation and supported by trade unions from other European countries, such as Bulgaria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia.
- 02 Jul 2009
Czech Republic: Multinational companies and collective bargaining
No monitoring has been conducted on this issue in the Czech Republic and no specialised literature is available on the subject. As part of its annual evaluation of the outcome of collective bargaining the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (the largest umbrella organization) monitors the number of collective agreements concluded in companies where union branches operate and which are owned in full or in part by foreign owners. Although that definition of companies includes hundreds of smaller companies in addition to MNCs, in our opinion it can be concluded that the general finding (from the Confederation’s aforementioned evaluation) – that the participation of a foreign investor (owner) in a company in the Czech Republic does not result in a rejection of collective bargaining – probably also applies to MNCs. No other relevant data is available. The following information is based on the author’s estimates and is backed by information acquired from consultations, primarily with trade unions.
- 28 Apr 2009
Czech Republic: Wage flexibility and collective bargaining
In the Czech collective bargaining system, high-level collective agreements are used as basic agreements and often presuppose that an enterprise-level collective agreement dealing with specific questions of employees’ pay in greater detail will be subsequently concluded. On a general level employers and employers’ organisations try to ensure that basic pay forms the smallest possible part of total pay, placing the emphasis on increasing the variable component. On the contrary trade unions try to make basic pay account for the largest possible proportion of total pay and demand that collective agreements contain comprehensive rules on pay.
- 28 Apr 2009
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Hospitals – Czech Republic
The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the hospital sector in the Czech Republic. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.
- 02 Apr 2009
Czech Republic: Foreign workers most vulnerable during economic crisis
In 2007, the Czech Republic experienced a labour shortage. Consequently, a number of companies began hiring foreign workers through employment agencies, particularly workers from Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, as well as from Mongolia and Vietnam. Now, due to the global economic crisis, companies are beginning to lay off these workers first. However, they often do not want to or cannot go home, and find themselves in a difficult situation.
- 31 Mar 2009
Czech Republic: Wage formation
The pay system in the Czech Republic is based both on legislation as well as on collective bargaining, with negotiations taking place at the company-level but also higher levels. Current conditions on the labour market (including regional segmentation of the labour market) also play a considerable role in wage formation, especially at the single enterprise. A minimum wage regulation is in place at national level. This current contribution will look in particular at the ICT sector, a sector that plays a key role in the Czech economy. The ICT sector includes a combination of ICT manufacturing and ICT service industries which are associated with the production and/or distribution of information and communication technologies and the provision of the related services.
- 09 Mar 2009
Czech Republic: The impact of the information and consultation Directive’
The information and consultation Directive was implemented by adjusting and widening certain formulations of the relevant provisions of the labour code (amendment), and later in the new labour code (effective from 1 January 2007) which covers this issue in greater detail. Overall, the changes do not represent a fundamental overhaul of existing labour legislation. Not enough time has passed for an assessment of the impact of the new legislation in this area, but as the legislative changes are minor and partial, no fundamental impact is expected.
- 06 Feb 2009
Czech Republic: Collective bargaining and continuous vocational training
There is no functioning system for continuous vocational training in the Czech Republic. Since 1 August 2007 there has been a part law in place on the verification and recognition of the results of further education (Act no. 179/2006 Coll.). The role of social dialogue in the area of further education is not more closely defined in the legislation, and as in other areas social partners may participate in the legislative process in the form of comments on draft laws, through membership of their representatives in the national tripartite body (Council for Economic and Social Agreement, RHSD) and may also propose delegates to the Council (Rada), a consultative body of the Ministry of Education set up by the aforementioned Act. Vocational training is, with the exception of a few obligations imposed by the Labour Code, entirely at employers’ discretion. According to the available information, the issue of vocational training is dealt with in collective agreements only on a sporadic basis.
- 05 Jan 2009
Czech Republic: Up to 10,000 job losses expected in automobile industry
Domestic companies in the Czech Republic’s automobile industry will cut up to 10,000 jobs between 2008 and the beginning of 2009, according to an estimate by the Automotive Industry Association. A few months ago, the association had envisaged a much smaller number of redundancies in the industry in the region of three thousand job losses. However, according to some experts, the current financial crisis is more likely to affect suppliers rather than automobile manufacturers.