When the McDonald fast food chain arrived in the Czech Republic twenty-two years ago it was a huge hit. In the years that followed the company posted sales figures of two digits. But in recent years business has been slowing down and profits have been stagnating. The company’s Czech division has now announced major revitalization plans.
The Kolín-based automobile manufacturer TPCA (a joint-venture of Toyota, Peugeot, and Citroen) will lay-off some 500 agency-hired staff. The news was confirmed on Wednesday by company spokesman Radek Kňava. The reason for the reduction, are fewer models to be produced in 2015 than originally projected: some 220,000 vehicles. Layoffs should not affect regular employees.
Nearly 50 percent of Czech companies are planning to raise their employees’ wages next year, according to a survey conducted by the Czech Chamber of Commerce in around 500 firms all around the country. Only five percent of the companies that took part in the poll will be lowering their employee’s salaries next year.
The retail prices of gasoline and diesel in the Czech Republic have continued to decline over the past few weeks, driven mainly by falling prices of crude oil on the world markets. However, the prices differ dramatically at different gas stations, with some retailers refusing to bring the prices down.
The Czech-Polish food war which dates back to 2012 flared up anew on Monday as the Polish agriculture minister Marek Sawicki accused the Czech authorities of employing dishonest practices aimed at hurting Polish imports. He claimed that the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority had ordered a blanket nation-wide inspection targeting exclusively Polish goods and said his country would complain to the European Commission over discrimination of Polish products.
The Czech government remains opposed to EU efforts to impose gender quotas for the boards of state-owned and listed companies across the EU. A vote in the cabinet on Monday went against proposed draft legislation which would ensure that by 2020 four out of every ten non-executive directorships of listed companies are filled by women.