In related news, the country’s police have made clear they will be out in force on Monday to try and maintain the flow of traffic despite plans by the miner’s union – which is joining the strike – to block key motorways and inter-city routes. The police will also try and maintain order if situations become heated. Because Monday is a regular work day the force has said it will begin implementing necessary steps a day earlier. Sunday regularly sees heightened traffic as weekenders return home. During the strike, the police will be relying on the force’s helicopters to also help monitor developments.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas, meanwhile, responded to the unions on Friday by saying the government will not budge in the face of protests which he said took citizens hostage. He did say the government was prepared to discuss some parameters of the reforms. In a statement released by the Office of the President, President Václav Klaus also criticised the move by the unions, calling it “political blackmail”.
Czech transport unions have called a day-long nationwide strike on Monday expected to paralyze public transport in Prague, Brno and other cities and towns. The country’s railways will also be affected. No trains, busses, or trams in the capital are expected to run. Blockades have also been planned on the D1 motorway and other major routes. The announcement on Friday followed a last-minute meeting between the unions and the finance minister a day earlier. The strike is aimed against the government’s reforms, including changes to health care and an overhaul of the country’s pension system. It is not clear how many union members will take part. It is set to begin in the early hours of Monday.
The Czech Republic is set to come to a standstill on Monday when the country will see one of the biggest labour protests in its history. To show their discontent with the government’s reform plans, Czech transportation workers will go on a day-long nationwide strike that will stop trains across the country, along with public transport in most major cities. The trade unions are also planning to stage blockades on major thoroughfares in the capital.
Czech transportation workers are considering going on a day-long nationwide strike on Monday against the government’s reform plans, particularly the planned overhaul of the pension system. Trade unions said they would announce their final decision on Friday; however, following a meeting on Thursday with Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek which produced no results, a trade union leader said the strike was “99 percent certain”. The strike could paralyze public transport in Prague and Brno as well as railway transport across the country. The trade unions are also planning to stage blockades on the D1 motorway between Prague and the eastern city of Ostrava.
Czech unemployment declined for a fourth consecutive month in May, data from the Labor Ministry showed Wednesday. The jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent, in line with expectations, from 8.6 percent in the previous month. A year ago, the rate was 8.7 percent. The unemployment rate for women was 9.5 percent and that for men came in at 7.2 percent. Analysts predict a further decline in the coming months, largely due to seasonal employment.
Data about the salary development in the Czech Republic published on Wednesday indicates that the average monthly wage has increased by 2.1 percent or 0.4 percent after being adjusted for inflation. The average monthly salary in the Czech Republic grew by 471 crowns, to 23,144 Czech crowns, or roughly 956 Euro. According to analysts, the result was more positive than expected and shows that business continue to employ a conservative salary policy. Experts say that the development of wages has been healthy and appropriate considering the general status of the economy.
City transport workers in Ostrava on Monday reached a deal with the company management on increasing their salaries, and will end their six-day strike. Under the agreement, salaries of bus drivers and office workers will grow by 5 percent next year, rather than 8 percent as originally demanded by the trade unions. Manual workers’ salaries will increase by 6 percent in 2012. The strike, which began last week Sunday, is set to end on Monday midnight. The director of the city-owned firm estimated the costs of the strike at around 70 million crowns.
A strike by city transport workers in Ostrava continued for a third day on Friday with no sign of a solution to the stand-off. Trade unions have been pushing for an eight percent pay rise but the transport company is not willing to go higher than 3 percent. Trade unions have warned that they will not let up the pressure until they get a positive response. Over 600 transport workers marched through the city in protest of low wages and on several occasions attempted to stop private company buses from serving in their stead. Police are out to enforce order.
City transport workers in Ostrava are on strike for a second day in protest against low wages. Trade unions have been pushing for an eight percent pay rise but the transport company is not willing to go higher than 3 percent. The company employs 2,000 people whose average monthly wage is 22,000 crowns. Trade unions have warned that they will not let up the pressure until they get a positive response. Talks with the city transport company and city hall officials have dragged for over six months.
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