CMKOS Re-elects Josef Stredula Trade Union Chairman

Czech Industry and Trade Ministry

Prague, April 27 (CTK) – Josef Stredula will be the chairman of Czech trade union umbrella organisation CMKOS for another four years, being re-elected by the congress of CMKOS, organisation representatives told CTK.


Vit Samek and Radka Sokolova defended their posts of deputy chairpersons, with them and Stredula being elected unopposed, CMKOS said.


Stredula gained 183 out of 187 votes, according to the election committee head Dagmar Gavlasova.


Stredula said he would not promise anything and that the organisation would continue with its usual activities.


Stredula was first elected in April 2014, replacing Jaroslav Zavadil.


CMKOS associates 29 unions with some 310,000 members.


In the coming years, CMKOS will push a 37.5-hour working week, down from 40 hours, and five weeks of holidays for everyone, the congress approved today.


Employees are currently entitled to four weeks of holidays, according to the Labour Code.


Other tasks for the following years which the unionists approved include pushing early retirement for those with demanding jobs.


CMKOS will also demand that the minimum wage be raised from Kc12,200 to Kc13,700 as of January, Stredula said at the opening of the two-day congress.


Prime Minister Andrej Babis is not fighting the increase, saying that it is up to unionists and employers to agree on minimum wage.


Employers want the growth to be predictable and have clear rules.


The tripartite (government, employers, unions) will discuss minimum wage in June.


A general decrease in working hours would lead to cuts in wages, and it would make sense in a different situation, the Chamber of Commerce said.


The Czech Republic faces a record low unemployment rate, with the labour market lacking 300,000 people, Devire consulting company partner Tomas Surka said.


CMKOS is in favour of the Czech Republic joining the euro area, Stredula said.


However, the euro should be adopted when the Czech crown’s exchange rate is stronger, he added.


Babis said he was against the euro adoption at the moment, as a national currency is a good tool for dealing with an economic crisis.


The crown’s firming to Kc18-19/EUR could threaten Czech exports, he said.