Zeman Loses Support of Trade Unions

Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – The Czech trade unions will not issue any advice suggesting the choice of any particular presidential candidate in the upcoming election, CMKOS umbrella trade unions head Josef Stredula told CTK today.


Head of the Association of Free Trade Unions (ASO) Bohumir Dufek told CTK that ASO would not issue any recommendations either.


Before the last presidential election in 2013, CMKOS practically recommended its employees to vote for Milos Zeman, who then subscribed to its plan, while Karel Schwarzenberg, his opponent in the election, was not acceptable for CMKOS.


According to Stredula, however, CMKOS never told people who they should vote for.


Three of the nine presidential candidates have visited CMKOS before the election: former Academy of Sciences head Jiri Drahos, former Skoda Auto board chairman Vratislav Kulhanek and former diplomat Pavel Fischer.


“We esteem anyone who comes to us and wants to know what our employees’ opinions are,” Stredula said.


Stredula said these visits were not just formal meetings and that the candidates were interested in learning about the problems of the employees, such as salaries’ growth and working conditions.


Dufek said the election was a purely civic matter and that ASO would not provide any recommendations.


A few years ago, CMKOS started its End of Cheap Labour campaign. ASO has similar objectives. Both organisations take part in negotiations with the government and the employers’ representatives.