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Czech Republic: Changing Business Landscape in the Electricity sector and Industrial Relations in Europe

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

The objective of the Czech Republic is to meet the targets related to production and consumption of electricity produced from renewable energy sources as determined by the EU. Nevertheless, the nuclear and fossil power industry still account for significant energy sources. The social dialogue in the power sector is not formed by the type of energy production. The role of the social partners differs in the influence applied to the national energy policy. While the association of employers has been successful in the long-term enforcement of its requirements, the influence of the trade unions, if compared, is lower.

1. General background information on the energy policy in your country and employment trends

1.1. Please explain briefly the main governmental strategies/action in relation to the electricity production and energy source mix. In your answer, please include information on the following aspects, where possible:

Is there an outspoken policy or plan in your country for any kind of change towards an increase or decrease of electricity production with any of the different sources (coal, oil, gas, hydro, eolic, sun, etc.)

In 2004, the State Energetic Concept of the Czech Republic (Státní energetická koncepce České republiky) was formulated and was updated in 2009. The state policy is based on the source mix and the utilization of the domestic energy sources is emphasized. Nuclear energetics shall remain the most significant electricity source. Coal energetics should continue playing a decreasing but still a significant role. The natural gas is perceived as a supplementary source, mainly due to dependence on its import. The concept also supports the development of RES energetics, in particular as related to the fulfilment of the international obligations of the Czech Republic. The predictions show that the major part of the RES energy should come from biomass and, as far as electricity is concerned, also from the solar energy and geothermal energy.

Table 1: Electricity production composition till the year 2050 (in %)
 

2005 (actual number)

2030

2050

Fossil fuels

58

28

19

Gas fuels

5

4

4

Liquid fuels

1

0

0

Nuclear fuels

32

53

47

Renewable sources

4

15

30

Source: The updated State Energetic Concept, 2009: 79

A detailed view of the vision of the Czech Republic concerning the development of the different RES is given in the National Action Plan of the Czech Republic for Renewable Sources Energy (Národní akční plán České republiky pro energii z obnovitelných zdrojů (in Czech, 695.4 KB PDF)) of the year 2010. This Plan counts in particular on the use of biomass through the combustion of the mixed municipal waste and industrial waste and on the import of biogases.

Which is the targeted energy mix for the future (see material provided)? How, in which subsequent steps, such targets are expected to be met?

The updated State Energetic Concept of the year 2009 sets the following energy mix till the year 2050:

Table 2: Energy mix structure composition till the year 2050 (in %)
 

2005 (actual number)

2030

2050

Fossil fuels

42

24

20

Gas fuels

18

20

21

Liquid fuels

21

20

19

Nuclear fuels

15

25

25

Renewable sources

4

11

15

Source: The updated State Energetic Concept, 2009: 79

Are investments in networks (new connections, upgrade) envisaged? To what extent? With which specific goals?

Both the Concept and the National Action Plan mention the necessity of distribution system development consisting in the construction and renewal of the distribution network, international cooperation and connection of new sources and consumption. The partial targets include the settlement of the financing issue and the appropriate legislation adjustments.

What is the Government stance and what are the ongoing/envisaged action towards generation of electricity from the different broad groups of sources: nuclear /fossile /renewable energy?

Currently, the nuclear energetics development is the Government priority. In August 2011, the energy company ČEZ announced a tender for the construction of two new blocks of the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant. The support of RES electricity generation also appears in the Government Program Declaration. In general, however, there is a tendency to slow down this development (see 1.2. and commentary).

The further development of the fossil fuels which currently represent the most significant primary energetic source in the Czech Republic and the use of which enables the growth rate of the energetic dependency on import to slow, remains an unsettled issue. Although the Government states in the Program Declaration that the lignite coal mining limits of the year 1991 intended to stop the landscape devastation and improve the health conditions of the citizens in the Northern Bohemia shall be maintained, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (Ministerstvo průmyslu a obchodu ČR, MPO ČR) emphasizes that further coal mining is important in particular for the heating industry which is dependent on lignite.

What are the recent employment trends in the different subsectors of power generation according to the different broad groups of sources: nuclear/fossile/renewable energy? Please indicate development since 2005 with reference to generation, distribution, and sale separately.

The number of employees in the sector has been decreasing on a long-term basis, having decreased by more than one-fourth since 2005. This reduction can be seen in the electricity generation while the number of employees working in the sphere of electricity distribution and electricity trading has been growing.

Table 3: Employment Development in the Sectors of Electricity Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Trading (2005-2010)
 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2009

2010

 

OKEČ (Branch Classification of Economic Activities)

CZ-NACE

Electricity generation

25,884

15,126

13,226

15,636

14,422

13,221

12,156

Electricity Transmission

1,191

2,400

3,363

3,767

2,606

2,606

1,724

Electricity Distribution and Electricity Trading

7,538

11,469

11,783

12,053

14,510

15,801

19,355

Total

42,637

31,333

27,889

34,523

32,669

31,255

29,996

Source: Czech Statistical Office (CZSO), Labour Force Survey 2005-2010

Note: Since 2008, the OKEČ classification corresponding to NACE rev. 1 has been in the Czech LFS replaced with the CZ-NACE. The values are therefore slightly different.

1.2. Government policy for increase of the share of renewable resources according to the RES directive

  • Are any subsidies being granted for different types of RES for electricity providers? If yes, please provide briefly the details
  • Have subsidies for RES been cut recently? Was this a result of the crisis, of budget constraints, or the result of a policy revision (following a policy assessment, due to a disporportionate use of subsidies, etc.)? Please provide brief details.
  • Are there any other forms of support foreseen for promoting electricity generation of RES?
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding the state of play and the future prospects of RES in your country.

In 2005, the Act on Support of Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy Sources was adopted (Act No. 180/2005 Coll.). This Act guarantees the RES electricity manufacturers the preferential connection to the transmission system and a guaranteed purchase price for 20 years. In the recent years, however, the price of photovoltaic technologies dropped (by about 40 per cent), reducing the payback period of the investment to 7 years and the number of solar power plant grew dramatically. This boom also caused that in 2010, the distributors were unable to satisfy all the requests for connection in order to maintain distribution system stability.

To avoid the leap growth of energy prices, the Government adopted an amendment to the above mentioned Act of Law (No. 137/2010 Coll.). Starting from 2011, withholding tax of 26% has been imposed on the energy generated in the photovoltaic power plants, the electricity purchase prices were reduced as compared with the other RES and the five-year tax holidays applicable to the RES electricity manufacturers were cancelled. In response to this situation, the National Action Plan for Renewable Sources Energy set the annual limits applicable for the RES development. Such resources shall from now develop only to the extent to allow the Government to generate 13% of energy from these sources as the Czech Republic undertook within the EU.

1.3. Are there any studies and documents assessing the employment impact of energy policies and of prospective changes in the energy mix within the electricity sector? This could include, for instance,

  • Employment effects resulting from the unbundling of activities (production from distribution)
  • Employment effects (on quantity and quality of work) resulting from the possible shifts within the electricity production sector from traditional sources to RES
  • Employment effects from investments in infrastructure (renewal of grids, introduction of smart meter technology, district heating)
  • The need for retraining of workers or provision of new qualifications linked to the sector transformations
  • Possible spatial mobility of workers as a result of more decentralised production (linked both to new activities and to restructuring of existing ones)
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding prospective impacts on employment and industrial relations

Two analyses performed by the National Training Fund (Národní vzdělávací fond, NVF) (Havlíčková, Lapáček 2007 a Czesaná, Braňka 2008) stress that the energy industry is a sector featuring a higher average age and, so far, an insufficient replacement of human resources. The authors recommend that the sector should be promoted with the objective of increasing the interest in the study thereof and that changes should be made in the education programs, including the development of new study fields concerning RES.

Similar conclusions were also made by a Report of independent commission of the Government on the evaluation of energy needs of the Czech Republic in the long-term perspective (in Czech, 6.77 MB PDF). Even if the sector has been suffering from loss of jobs, it employs only about 2% of workforce and impact on overall employment is not that large. Nevertheless, the lack of qualified workforce can influence the state independence in energy production.

1.4 To what extent are the social partners involved or consulted concerning the governmental energy policy, notably in relation to employment impacts? Has this happened on an ad-hoc basis or on a structural, permanent basis? Is there a special tripartite social dialogue body for such consultations? Did consultation take place at national level, at sector level, or at the initiative of individual companies? Please briefly provide details.

See 4.3.

2. Composition, structure and employment trends for the different resources used for electricity production

2.1 Please give an overview of the current sectoral composition of electricity production in your country, by giving for each of these seven groups of energy sources, the NAME of the three largest producing, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

For all companies listed, as a summary, please indicate:

  1. Total production and its distribution across different energy sources
  2. Total employment and its distribution across different energy sources
  3. Production plants and their respective energy source(s)
Electricity production

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

FOSSIL FUELS

ČEZ a.s.

6,009

31.12.2010

Private

Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a. s.

4,350

2010

Private

Elektrárny Opatovice, a.s.

372

31.12.2010

Private

NUCLEAR

ČEZ a.s.

6,009

31.12.2010

Private

       
       
HYDRO

ČEZ a.s.

6,009

31.12.2010

Private

ČEZ obnovitelné zdroje s.r.o.

106

31.12.2010

Private

Povodí Ohře, state company

609

31.12.2010

Public

WIND

Ecoenerg Windkraft GmbH & Co. KG

3

2011

Private

Větrná energie HL s.r.o.

n.a.

 

Private

Větrné elektrárny Strážný vrch, a.s.

3

2011

Private

BIOMASS

Mondi Štětí a.s.

500-1,000

2010

Private

ČEZ a.s.

6,009

31.12.2010

Private

Plzeňská teplárenská a.s.

268

31.12.2010

Private

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

FVE CZECH NOVUM s.r.o.

n.a.

 

Private

ČEZ a.s.

6,009

31.12.2010

Private

Solar Stříbro s.r.o.

n.a.

 

Private

Sources: Energy Regulatory Office (Energetický regulační úřad, ERÚ), Annual Report on the Energetic Power System 2010 (in Czech); Annual reports of the listed companies; inquiries by phone

Note: Of the companies listed, the ČEZ a.s. is the only one to generate electricity from multiple resources. However, the sorting of company employees by subsectors is not available.

Electricity production

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

Total production in 2010 (GWh)

Production plants

FOSSIL FUELS

ČEZ a.s.

32,575

Dětmarovice, Hodonín, Chvaletice, Ledvice, Mělník II. and III., Počerady I. and II., Poříčí, Teplárna Dvůr Králové, Prunéřov I. and II., Tisová, Tušimice I. and II., Vítkovice

Sokolovská uhelná, a. s.

2,138

Vřesová

Elektrárny Opatovice, a.s.

2,023

Opatovice

NUCLEAR

ČEZ a.s.

27,998

Dukovany, Temelín

     
     
HYDRO

ČEZ a.s.

2,328

Brno Kníničky, Brno Komín, Bukovec, Čeňkova Pila, Černé Jezero, Dalešice, Dlouhé Stráně, Hněvkovice, Hradec Králové, Hracholusky, Kamýk, Kořensko 1 and 2, Les Království, , Lipno I. and II., Mohelno, Obříství, Orlík, Pardubice, Pastviny, Práčov, Předměřice nad Labem, Přelouč, Slapy, Spálov, Spytihněv, Střekov, Štěchovice, Vrané, Vydra, Želina

ČEZ obnovitelné zdroje s.r.o.

264

Brno – Kníničky, Bukovec, Černé Jezero I., Hrades Králové, Hracholusky, Les Království, Mělník, Obříství, Pardubice, Pastviny I., Práčov, Předměřice, Přelouč, Spálov, Spytihněv, Střekov, Vydra

Povodí ohře

98

Ervenický koridor, Kadaň – Pokutice, Nechranice, Skalka

WIND

Ecoenerg Windkraft GmbH & Co. KG

90

Měděnec

Větrná energie HL s.r.o.

36

Horní Loděnice - Lipina

Větrné elektrárny Strážný vrch, a.s.

15

Nová Ves v Horách

BIOMASS

Mondi Štětí a.s.

437

Štětí

ČEZ a.s.

308

Tisová, Poříčí, Teplárna Dvůr Králové, Hodonín, Vítkovice

Plzeňská teplárenská a.s.

265

Teplárna Plzeň

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

FVE CZECH NOVUM s.r.o.

18

Nová Ves

ČEZ a.s.

16

Bažerovice, Buštěhrad, Čekanice, Dukovany, Hrušovany, Chýnov, Mimoň, Pánov, Přelouč, Ralsko, Ševětín, Vranovská Ves, Žabčice

Solar Stříbro s.r.o.

13

Stříbro

Sources: ERÚ, Annual Report on the Energetic Power System 2010; Annual reports of the listed companies

2.2 Please provide an overview of the current oganisation of electricity distribution in your country. Is there a single distributing company/body? Are there multiple companies? At national or territorial level?

The transmission system is operated by the state-owned enterprise ČEPS a.s. There are three distributors operating on the Czech market (see 2.3.). and their activities are divided by territories. Due to the missing competition, the fees charged for the electricity distribution are regulated by the ERÚ.

2.3 Please indicate the NAME of the three largest distributing companies, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

Distribution companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

Distribution GRID

ČEZ Distribuce, a.s.

1,180

31.12.2010

Private

E.ON Distribuce, a.s.

41

31.12.2010

Private

PREdistribuce, a.s.

504

31.12.2010

Private

Source: ERÚ, Annual Report on the Energetic Power System 2010

2.4. Where there any significant developments/changes since 2008 for a specific company or source of electricity production in numbers of employees or in their public/private status? Was this due to the current economic crisis? Were there any instances of unbundling or mergers? With what consequences in terms of employment and industrial relations?

In the years 2006 to 2010, the number of employees has grown in the photovoltaic power plants that were developing most dynamically. It is estimated that there are over 4,000 employees in this branch.

Organizational changes and outsourcing were typical of the large companies in the sector during the economic crisis (see 4.4.).

3. Industrial relations in the electricity sector: Actors

4. Please provide details on the membership in the electricity sector and membership of the top 3 producing and distributing companies in employer’s organisation (see questions 2.1-2.3 above). Please provide information on the name of the trade unions organising in this subsector and the level of their membership, or otherwise provide overall data but please include indications on differences in membership densities across subsectors.

The following social partners operate in the electricity sector:

  • Český svaz zaměstnavatelů v energetice (Czech Association of Energy Sector Employers, ČSZE) – it associates 23 energy manufacturers or distributors and 12 representatives of secondary schools and universities. The represented organizations have about 22.000 employees in total.
  • Český odborový svaz energetiků (Czech Energy Workers Trade Union, ČOSE) – it associates 18 basic trade union organizations of the companies ČEZ, a.s. and Pražská energetika, a.s. The Association has 2,340 members.
  • The Trade Union ECHO (OS ECHO) – of its about 22,000 members, 8,000 members are employed in the energy sector. The Union associates 150 basic trade union organizations of the energetic companies and a few basic trade union organizations operating in the ČEZ, a.s. company.

The social partners do not have a more detailed breakdown of their membership base available by the type of electricity generation.

Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(largest 3 in market share)

Membership to employers organisation

(indicate the name of the relevant employers organisation)

Trade union presence per sub-sector

(indicate the name of trade union(s) and the level of their membership in this subsector companies)

FOSSIL FUELS

ČEZ a.s.

ČSZE

ČOSE, OS ECHO

Sokolovská uhelná, a. s.

The Employers' Assotiation of Mining and Oil Industries (Zaměstnavatelský svaz důlního a naftového průmyslu ČR, ZSDNP)

Trade Union of Workers in Mines, Geology and the Oil Industry (Odborový svaz pracovníků hornictví, geologie a naftového průmyslu, OS PHGN)

Elektrárny Opatovice, a.s.

ČSZE

OS ECHO

NUCLEAR

ČEZ a.s.

ČSZE

ČOSE, OS ECHO

   
   
HYDRO

ČEZ a.s.

ČSZE

ČOSE, OS ECHO

ČEZ obnovitelné zdroje s.r.o.

ČSZE

OS ECHO

Povodí ohře

Water Management Association (Svaz vodního hospodářství, SVH)

Trade Union of Workers in the Woodworking Industry, Forestry and Water Management (Odborový svaz pracovníků dřevozpracujících odvětví, lesního a vodního hospodářství v ČR, OS DLV)

WIND

Ecoenerg Windkraft GmbH & Co. KG

ČSZE

ČOSE, OS ECHO

Větrná energie HL s.r.o.

-

-

Větrné elektrárny Strážný vrch, a.s.

-

-

BIOMASS

Mondi Štětí a.s.

Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (Asociace českého papírenského průmyslu, ACPP)

OS DLV

ČEZ a.s.

ČSZE

ČOSE, OS ECHO

Plzeňská teplárenská a.s.

ČSZE

OS ECHO

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

FVE CZECH NOVUM s.r.o.

-

-

ČEZ a.s.

ČSZE

ČOSE, OS ECHO

Solar Stříbro s.r.o.

-

-

And in the distributing companies

Distribution GRID

companies

ČEZ Distribuce, a.s.

ČSZE

OS ECHO

E.ON Distribuce, a.s.

ČSZE

OS ECHO

PREdistribuce, a.s.

ČSZE

ČOSE

3.2 To what extent are employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) covered by trade union representation? Has there been any impact of the crisis on trade union representation?

Similarly as for the questions above, such differentiated data are not available. It can be however presumed that the trade union representation is rather influenced by the size of the enterprise than by the type of electricity production. The smaller the enterprise, the more likely it is that the employees are not organized in trade unions at all. This is probably what the situation is like in the major part of the small companies generating electricity from RES.

A decrease was reported in the basic trade unions of the ČEZ a.s company. In 2010, about 2.200 employees were organized in the trade union (about 36% of the total number of employees). In recent years, the trade union representation had a decreasing tendency (38% in years 2009 and 2008 and 41% in year 2007). However, it is difficult to state to what extent this decrease is due to the economic crisis and to what extent it was a trend having started earlier and typical of the trade union organizations.

According to OS ECHO, the trade union representation in all companies in which the trade union organizations operate is higher than 50%. In the distribution companies, up to 90% of employees are members of the trade union organizations. The trade union has not reported a decrease in its membership base in recent years.

3.3 Have there been major reorganisations/splits/mergers of trade unions or employers organisations in the sector during the last five years?

In 2009, the Trade Union of Nuclear Power Workers (Odborový svaz zaměstnanců jaderné energetiky, OSZJE) ceased to exist and the basic trade union organizations associated in this Trade Union passed to ČOSE.

3.4. Have new actors (trade unions or employers organisations) been founded in recent years, especially in the newly evolving RES industries? Or is the industry covered by established actors?

No social partner has been founded in the energy sector in recent years. The new evolving RES industries are most likely not covered at all. (See 3.2.)

3.5. Have the established sectoral actors (both trade unions and employer organisations) started any initiative to extend their representation to the new emerging parts of the sector? Please describe such initiatives and their results so far.

No initiative of this kind has been launched by sectoral social partners. They do not envisage to start with this type of initiatives either.

4. Role of collective bargaining and social dialogue

4.1 Please provide information on the structure of collective bargaining in the electricity sector. Please, briefly mention the main characteristics of collective bargaining:

At what level are collective agreements within the subsectors of the electricity sector (traditional providers, newly emerging providers) concluded (company, sectoral level and/or inter-sectoral level)? Is there a difference between the producers and the distributors?

The basic frame for the electricity sector consists of the higher level collective agreement, entered into by and between ČSZE and ČOSE and OS ECHO (4.2.). Collective bargaining occurs and the company collective agreement is entered into in the major part of the companies represented in these trade unions. Collective bargaining at the company level is more significant. The basic trade union organizations associated in the ČOSE enter into 9 company collective agreements. Of the OS ECHO, 60 basic trade union organizations implement the collective bargaining and all of them succeed in entering into the collective agreement.

Estimate the coverage rate of collective bargaining in terms of companies and employees: are there any differences in coverage across different subsectors of electricity production?

According to CZSO, a little less than 57,000 persons were employed in the sector of Production and Distribution of Electricity, Gas and Heat in 2010. The companies associated in the ČSZE employ about 22,000 employees who are covered by the higher level collective agreement and most of them also by the company collective agreement. Therefore, about 50% of the persons employed in the sector are covered by the collective agreement.

4.2 Please comment on the most recent collective agreements reached at sector level and at company level. Please address the following topics:

Pay and working time: level and trends relative to the national average and significant differences across subsectors of the electricity industry.

The most recent collective agreement at the sectoral level was entered into by and between ČSZE and ČOSE, OS ECHO and formerly OSZJE in 2009 (in Czech, 1.59 MB PDF) and in 2010, it was prolonged by an amendment till the end of 2012. The working conditions agreed do exceed minimum basic set up the law (e.g. statutory length of holiday (4 weeks) is prolonged by at least 1 week, lowest wage tarries exceeds the minimum wage) and also average arrangements concluded in the collective agreements (e.g. working hours were agreed to be 37.5 hours a week while according to the Information System on Work Conditions of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí ČR, MPSV ČR), the average weekly working hours agreed upon in the collective agreements in 2010 were 38 hours).

The most significant collective agreement at the company level is probably the one of the ČEZ a.s. company. The conditions agreed upon exceed the sectoral agreement in a number of aspects. The wage tariffs are almost double and the additional bonuses for work at non-social times or severance pay are also above-standard. The working hours in the uninterrupted operation is set at 36.5 hours a week and the working hours applicable to the morning shifts are 37.5 hours a week.

4.3. Cooperation between the social partners and government

Have the government started any social dialogue or social concentration in the electricity sector since 2008? Please illustrate the features and results of any such initiatives.

There was no such type of initiative by the Government of the Czech Republic towards the social partners.

Have bipartite and/or tripartite bodies dealing with specific issues of the electricity industry been created since 2008?

In March 2011, the Council for the Energetic and Raw Material Strategy of the Czech Republic (Rada vlády pro energetickou a surovinovou strategii ČR) was established. Its objective is to support the Government in the preparation of strategic documents with respect to the provision of the energetic and raw material base. The central bodies of state administration, territorial self-government, social partners, both chambers of the Parliament and the academic communities are represented.

While there are representatives of national employer confederations, labour union associations are not members of the Council. Representatives of ČSZE are present in working groups of the Council. The OS ECHO trade union was appointed to Councils‘ working groups only in October 2011 upon the request of the trade union itself addressed to the Minister of Industry and Trade.

Have there been since 2008 any joint initiatives of cooperation between social partners to influence or steer the energy policy developed by the government in your country? Or have such initiatives been taken separately by certain social partner organisations?

The social partners have not implemented any joint initiative on the energy policy. In 2004, ČSZE and OS ECHO cooperated in the preparation of the energy policy, namely in the chapter of social dimensions. Otherwise, the social partners implement their activities separately.

ČSZE has been cooperating on a long-term basis with the MPO ČR in the preparation of the state energy policy and gives comments on the legislation. Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (Svaz průmyslu a dopravy ČR, SP ČR) – among its members, there is also ČSZE - also invites the representatives of ČSZE to the meeting of the tripartite body - the Council of the Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic (Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody ČR, RHSD ČR), when the energy issues are discussed.

OS ECHO is trying to participate in the preparation of the state energy policy by giving comments on the strategic documents and on the legislation. The activity can also be demonstrated in the above mentioned initiative to become a member of the Council of the Government. The smaller trade union - ČOSE - conveys its attitudes - both to the legislation under preparation and to the issues discussed in the national tripartite in particular through the Association of Independent Unions (Asociace samostatných odborů, ASO) of which it is a member.

Have the social partners been involved in the making of the national action plan to reach the 2020 target, or in issues aiming to secure the supply of enough electricity?

Based on the information received from the contacted social partners (ČOSE, OS ECHO and ČSZE), a difference in the view and focus of the trade unions and employers is visible. The Association of Employers deals with the technical issues related to the energy policy; the ČSZE representative sees the level of consideration and enforcement of his proposals as high.

The trade unions accentuate more the issues related to employment, development of working conditions and other social issues and requirements. As far as the technical parameters of the energy policy are concerned, it is in particular OS ECHO to lay up its claims. However, they are not assumed very often and therefore their subsequent influence on the policy form is seen as small.

4.4. Please provide information about the views of the trade unions and employer organisations on the main changes regarding employment and working conditions affecting the sector since 2008 and especially on the impact of the current crisis (for instance on employment trends, quality of jobs, working hours, wages, fixed-term employment, part-time, temporary agency work, participation in training, outsourcing, subcontracting etc.).

The social partners agreed upon the description of the working condition changes occurred during the crisis. The most frequent ones were the wage growth suspension and reorganization of work (in particular the transfer of the employees to the newly established subsidiary companies as well as the outsourcing of activities) with the objective of achieving operational savings. Considering the high demands for employee qualification, no cost reduction occurred in the sector in the sphere of professional education and no reduction in the quality of work occurred. Temporary agency work, subcontracting, fixed-term employment or part-time jobs are the forms of employment that are applied relatively rarely in the energy sector and the crisis did not result in the more frequent application of them.

5. Commentary

The RES development in the Czech Republic is strongly influenced by international obligations. The basic principle contained in the Concept update from 2009 is that "the support of the RES development has to be carefully balanced with the economic impacts to the final consumers and to the electricity market“ (p. 81). Electricity production from fossil sources and from nucleus is financially more favourable in the Czech geographical conditions and therefore these sources continue to be supported significantly. The current reluctant attitude to RES is also due to the issue of subsidies to the photovoltaic power plants as described in the Section 1.

The social dialogue in the energy sector takes place across the subsectors. The large-sized and middle-sized companies having been well-established on the market on a long term basis and producing energy mostly from fossil fuels and nucleus play a significant role in this dialogue. The newly emerging RES producers are not present in the system so far. However, professional associations are emerging - for example the Czech Association for Wind Energy (Česká společnost pro větrnou energii, ČSVE) which give a chance for the future that also these subsectors will join the social dialogue in some form.

References

Hana Geissler, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs

Page last updated: 15 November, 2012
About this document
  • ID: CZ1202029Q
  • Author: Hana Geissler
  • Institution: Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Language: EN
  • Publication date: 15-11-2012
  • Sector: Public Sector