2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Czech Republic

The ITUC affiliate in the Czech Republic is the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS).

In practice

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Legislative changes26-08-2014

The Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) reports that laws and policies, including a new Civil Code have been adopted without the consultation of trade unions, contrary to past practice. The lack of social cohesion regarding the policy direction of the government has had a negative impact on employment and poverty. Austerity measures which have been undertaken since 2011 concern cuts in unemployment benefits, pensions and birth grants.

The Business Corporations Act (Act No. 90/2012) and the new Civil Code abolished the obligation to include union representatives in the boards of join-stock companies. Unions have protested against arguments that companies with union representatives on their boards were less competitive by pointing at relevant studies conducted by the EU. These changes will strengthen the interests of the shareholders at the expense of workers and workplace democracy.

Amendments to the Labour Code which were introduced in 2013 strengthen the role of work councils as opposed to unions by putting them at equal footing with unions when it comes to the consultations. Collective agreement can now be cancelled with six month prior notice and workers in micro-companies are excluded from the right to join unions. This amendment modified conditions for trade union activities in an undertaking in the following way: it is required that at least three members are in employment relation with the employer and the statutes of the trade union organization include an authorization to act in its own name; in the case of small undertakings with one or two employees the amendment means that the trade union protection will not be possible anymore.

Lack of consultation hinders social dialogue 31-12-2010

According to the country’s labour code, bills relating to employment, economic and social conditions should be put before the competent trade union and employer organisations for consultation. However, the government’s perfunctory approach to social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. was illustrated by its handling of new labour legislation in the autumn, when trade unions were effectively deprived of the opportunity to influence proposals that have important consequences for workers.

A one-day protest strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
was declared by the unions on 8 December 2010 and was directed against restrictive measures implemented by the government and against wage cuts in the public services and public administration. Sweeping changes in the pay systems of public services and public administration were introduced with effect from 1 January 2011.

Obstacles to free collective bargaining30-11-2009

Employers do not always bargain in good faith: trade unions report that the information provided by companies for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
can be inadequate or arrive too late. Companies frequently ignore their legal obligation to consult the workers’ representatives on work-related issues.

In healthcare services, collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
is hampered by a transfer of decision-making authority from the management of the respective establishment to the state administration, which gives precise and binding instructions on how jobs are classified and remunerated. Employers and unions may reach an agreement, but the employers still need to negotiate with the central authorities that provide the budget.

Tough economic circumstances hamper protection of rights30-11-2009

The Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions reports that trade union rights violations are on the rise, but that defending the rights and even reporting specific cases is difficult in the current economic situation. Practices such as bullying are often covert and difficult to prove, and workers who speak up risk losing their jobs or suffering an adverse impact on their wages and working conditions. In addition, new recruits are frequently warned that trade union membership is not welcome.

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