Nov 25, 2023

Unions in the Czech Republic Declare Strike: Many Schools to be Closed

On Monday, November 27, hundreds of industrial enterprises will join a strike against the government’s actions, halting production. About a million workers are expected to participate in the protest.

The march will lead from Prague’s Rudolfinum to Malostranské náměstí, where a rally will take place starting at 1pm.

On the same day, teachers and other educational institution staff will also protest, leading to the closure of many schools in the Czech Republic.

Why is the strike happening?

Teachers in Czechia are dissatisfied with low pay, earning around CZK 36,000 monthly, below the national average. In 2022, salaries for all school staff (including principals and administrators) saw minimal growth, averaging CZK 48,200, worsened by underfunding in the education sector. Support staff, like cooks and janitors, also express discontent, facing potential wage cuts of 2 percent in the 2024 education budget. Concerns arise about the impact on services like school meals.

At the automotive company Škoda Auto, production will be halted at all plants for two hours with union activists expecting at least 8,000 employees to participate in the strike.

This was announced on Tuesday at a press conference by the chairman of the KOVO union, Roman Dürch, and the leader of the automaker’s unions, Jaroslav Povšík.

“Despite our priority being meetings at the plants, we have agreed that a large number of our members will come to the demonstration in Prague at Malostranské náměstí at 1:00 PM, where we will express our protest against the government and its actions,” said Dürch.

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This will be the largest protest since 2015, running parallel to a general strike. In Mladá Boleslav, it will begin with a rally on Wenceslas Clement Avenue.

Protesters from both the morning and afternoon shifts will work one hour less. The rally will start at 12:00 PM, with the main program at 1:15 PM.

The union is counting on active public support.

At present, fewer than a dozen enterprises in the industry have joined the protest, planning to stop production for an hour or less.

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