Today: Monday, 26 February 2024 year

An anti-government rally of trade unions began in Prague.

An anti-government rally of trade unions began in Prague.

In the center of Prague, right next to the walls of parliament, a rally of representatives of approximately 20 of the largest trade union associations of the republic began, declaring November 27 a “day of protest” against the government package of measures to save state budget funds.

According to the leader of the Czech-Moravian Trade Union Confederation (CMTU) Josef Stršedula, about 1 million workers in both production and non-production sectors are taking part in the strike accompanying the “day of protest”. During Monday they plan to interrupt work for one to two hours, and where production conditions do not allow this, hang up posters with words of support for the strikers.

Since Monday morning, representatives of the groups participating in the “day of protest” have gathered in Prague from all over the republic. At a rally near the walls of parliament, they intend to express their complaints against the government, as well as members of the legislative body, who, with the help of deputies and senators from the ruling parties, pushed through the adoption of a package of tough measures.

This package, presented by the Cabinet of Ministers as measures to improve state finances, includes a reduction in state subsidies, the abolition of a number of tax benefits, an increase in VAT on some types of goods and services, changes in the terms of payment of pensions and other tough measures. According to trade unions and the opposition, the reforms will lead to increased inflation, have a negative impact on economic growth, and reduce the standard of living of citizens.

Commenting on Sunday evening on the protests planned throughout the country for Monday, Prime Minister Petr Fiala described them as a manifestation of the trade union leaders’ own political ambitions, recalling, in particular, the participation of the head of the ChMKP Strshedula in the January presidential elections of the republic.

In turn, trade union leaders, rejecting such accusations, declared the government’s reluctance to conduct social dialogue with them and reluctance to make any adjustments to the adopted package of measures to save state finances.

Speeches by both trade union leaders and ordinary representatives of striking groups are planned at the rally on Malostranskaya Square. The country’s leading trade unions – workers in transport, railway workers, education, healthcare, culture, food and woodworking industries and a number of others – announced their participation in the “day of protest”. The Council on Aging and the Council on Disability also expressed their support for the action. At the same time, there will be a strike of staff of preschool and school institutions, in which about 70% of their workers intend to take part.