Employees of nuclear power stations operated by the power utility CEZ are planning strike action in support of higher wages. Trade union leader Frantisek Haman told reporters that negotiations with the CEZ management had failed to produce an acceptable compromise. The unions have asked for an eight percent increase in wages. January 20th has been set as a preliminary date for the strike.
Icy roads and fog caused an increased number of car accidents and pile-ups on Czech roads and highways over the weekend. A particularly dangerous stretch of the road between Olomouc and Mohelnice was closed to traffic for three hours as police dealt with a pile up of twenty cars. Reportedly speeding and bad visibility were responsible for the mass collision. Four people suffered light injuries.
Two leading Czech coalmining companies Severoceske Doly and Sokolovska Uhelna are to be privatized in a matter of weeks. According to the Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban the Cabinet is to make a decision regarding the sale of its shares in these companies by the end of January, early February at the latest. He would not disclose further details saying that last minute negotiations were still underway. Miners unions have protested against the sales, fearing lay-offs.
There has been a fresh case of an attack on paramedics responding to an emergency call. The incident happened in Kolodeje late on Saturday. A man collapsed at the fireman's annual ball and two ambulances in the vicinity responded to the emergency call. When they arrived on the scene they were attacked by the man's son who was very drunk at the time. One of the paramedics is in hospital with concussion. The others escaped with light injuries. The attacker also smashed the windscreens of both ambulances. Police are investigating the incident. In recent months other paramedics and doctors have been injured by drunks when responding to emergency calls.
The man whom the police suspected of planting a number of bombs in different parts of the Czech Republic is dead. The sixty eight year old pensioner attempted to commit suicide when the police came to arrest him slashing himself with a knife. He remained in critical condition in hospital until his death. The police were unable to question him or press charges. However a police spokesman said that DNA tests confirmed that this man was the culprit in 12 cases of bomb explosions or bomb threats out of 18 which the police is investigating. His home was reportedly full of explosives.
Monday should bring cloudy skies, scattered rain showers and day temperatures between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.
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