For many people 2012 promises to be a tough year or at least one of big changes: a new survey by the Czech Chamber of Commerce has suggested that every fifth company in the Czech Republic is planning layoffs in reaction to the slowing economy – some letting go hundreds, while others will cuts jobs for dozens of employees.
Employment bureaus may begin issuing welfare cards between March and April, 2012, provided a contract is concluded with the bank Česká Spořitelna, which is to manage the cards. The Labour Ministry is still in negotiations with the bank. The cards are intended for the payment of most welfare benefits from the employment bureaus. The Labour Ministry expects to save a billion crowns in operational costs once they are introduced.
Trade unions want to limit the opening hours of supermarkets over the Christmas and state holidays. They have also prepared a bill to prohibit or regulate the opening hours of store chains on holidays. Chairman of the store workers’ union Petr Voslař told journalists on Tuesday that the unions are looking for a legislator to bring the bill to Parliament. The bill entails that supermarkets would be able to be open until 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and would have to remain closed over the Christmas holidays. They also want large shops to remain closed on Easter and November 17th.
Companies in the Czech Republic that illegally employ foreigners will be fined up to five million crowns and will lose the right to public orders and state subsidies, under an amendment to the law approved by the Senate on Friday. The amendment aims to bring Czech law in line with EU directives. It obliges companies to report signing on foreigners from non-EU countries and to keep copies of the employees’ documents proving their legal workforce status. The bill is yet to be signed into law by the president.
Hundreds of workers gathered outside the premises of the steel company ArcelorMittal Ostrava on Wednesday afternoon for a protest organized by labour unions. The workers are protesting against the company’s strategy which according to them is exclusively profit-oriented while ignoring future development and the number of jobs. The unions say the company has long been neglecting maintenance of its production facilities resulting in unnecessary outages which affect the company’s competitiveness. Labour unions across Europe have called on all employees of ArcelorMittal and its subcontractors to stage demonstrations.
Some 25,000 school teachers around the Czech Republic took part in Wednesday’s hour-long strike causing every sixth school to open its doors at 9 instead of 8 am. According to the teachers’ unions the protest, joined by 1,620 schools mainly from the South Moravian and Moravian-Silesian regions was without incidents. The unions are protesting a proposal to let headmasters decide teachers’ salaries rather than deriving them from length of service. The proposal would affect primarily older teachers, who make up more than half of the teaching force. Meanwhile the government is discussing changes to teachers’ salary tables on Wednesday.
Around a fifth of the Czech Republic’s teachers, some 20,000 people, will be participating in Wednesday’s hour-long strike, unions report. As many as 1,600 schools will remain closed until 9 a.m. on Wednesday, when the government is set to discuss changes to teachers’ salary tables. Another thousand schools will open on time but will not hold class for one hour. Most of the striking schools are in north-eastern and South Moravia, with considerably less participation in Prague. The unions are protesting a proposal to leave teachers’ salaries to the discretion of headmasters rather than their length of service. The proposal would affect primarily older teachers, who statistics show make up more than half of the teaching force. In theory, many teachers could lose 4,600 crowns off their pay, the unions have said.
Czech Airlines has resumed normal operation after a two-day protest by its pilots. A spokeswoman for the carrier said on Saturday the pilots’ protest would not affect flights at the weekend but a representative of the pilots’ labour union said its members remained on strike alert. Czech Airlines cancelled 25 flights from and to Prague’s Ruzyně airport on Thursday and another eight on Friday as around a hundred pilots co-ordinately took sick leaves to protest against a transfer of aircraft to a charter carrier affiliated with Czech Airlines, a move they described as the beginning of Czech Airlines’ liquidation. Czech Airlines said it considered the protest illegal and would punish the pilots participating in the action.
Teachers’ unions have decided to strike for one hour on December 7, when the government will be discussing changes in teachers’ salary tables. The unions are protesting a proposal to leave teachers’ salaries to the discretion of headmasters rather than their length of service. The proposal would affect primarily older teachers, who statistics show make up more than half of the teaching force. The head of the teachers’ unions, František Dobšík, says many teachers could theoretically lose 4,600 crowns off their pay. He says they are not yet planning a demonstration but a suspension of classes until 9 a.m. next Wednesday, and it is not yet clear how many people will take part.
A recent opinion poll carried out by the STEM agency suggests more than two thirds of Czechs believe that unemployment benefits should be lower in order to make people seek jobs actively. Around the same share of those polled said they believed the current level of benefits and welfare did not motivate jobless people to seek employment. 70 percent of respondents said they would prefer minimum benefits which according to them would make people accept less qualified jobs, retrain or relocate. 37 percent believe the current level of unemployment benefits is motivating enough.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”