The Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS) continues to demand an increase in the minimum wage by 2,000 crowns to 18,200 crowns this year. Trade unionists will negotiate wage increases in companies for next year individually, depending on the situation of individual companies. Josef Středula, head of the ČMKOS, said this at a meeting of trade unions against poverty. Trade unionists are also calling for a demonstration on October 8 in Prague at Wenceslas Square due to the current situation. They called on the government to take measures against rising prices and falling living standards in the Czech Republic.
The confederation proposes against the high cost of reducing VAT on selected goods, capping prices, increasing benefits and introducing support for companies as during the epidemic. Středula mentioned, for example, the then short-term work program Antivirus with contributions to wages from the state.
“We will proceed individually. If there are profits, we will come to talk about them in collective bargaining,” said Středula, who is currently collecting signatures for his presidential candidacy. In the past, the headquarters gave recommendations for the percentage increase in earnings that union negotiators in companies should strive for. She did not announce a specific requirement for next year.
The minimum wage was last raised in January this year by one thousand crowns to 16,200 crowns. The request to add 2,000 crowns this year due to price increases was published by the central office at the end of April. Today Středula repeated it. Unions point out that the lowest net income is below the poverty line.
High-add employers disagree. They remind us that costs are rising. They mention energy or fuel prices. They point out that with the minimum wage, the guaranteed wage also increases. It is paid in eight stages according to expertise, responsibility and the difficulty of the work. It ranges from the minimum wage to its double, i.e. now up to 32,400 crowns.
In the program statement, the government expects to introduce a formula for the regular valorization of the lowest earnings. In the last election period, the then government of Andrej Babiš (ANO) also planned this, but they did not agree on the model with trade unions and employers. The EU is also preparing a directive that would regulate the minimum wage in member countries.
According to the head of ČMKOS, the union’s demands for earnings growth are not pro-inflationary. “The sources (of inflation) are abroad and in the state’s absolute inability to prevent unauthorized price increases,” says Středula. In his speech, he criticized Fial’s government for inaction at a time of sharp price increases.