Saturday, 19 April 2014

Trade unions to launch campaign against gov't parties this year

22 January 2013

Prague, Jan 21 (CTK) - The CMKOS umbrella trade union plans to launch a campaign against the present centre-right government and the coalition parties this year ahead of the general election due in mid-2014, CMKOS head Jaroslav Zavadil told CTK Monday.

He said the CMKOS tried to do its utmost to make the government resign but that it failed in its efforts.

As a result, the umbrella union will now prepare a campaign pointing to the bad measures taken by the government and the crises the government went through, Zavadil said.

He said trade unions have the right to campaign and enter politics.

"The unions cannot be apolitical. The unions must be above parties. They enter politics. We naturally have the right to tell our members what is going on in politics and what are our attitudes to it," Zavadil said.

The CMKOS has been calling for the departure of the coalition government of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) for a long time. Last spring it co-organised a demonstration in Prague centre in which about 100,000 people protested against the government.

The transport unions organised a national strike in June 2011 in protest against the government's reforms.

Necas said previously he believes the unions organise the protests not to improve the position of employees but because they are a part of the campaigns of the left-wing opposition parties, the Social Democrats (CSSD) and the Communists (KSCM).

The CMKOS and various protest groups formed the Stop Government initiative that will prepare the anti-government campaign.

The CMKOS wants to continue negotiating with the government this year, for example at the talks of the tripartite council, comprising representatives of the government, employers and employees.

The main topics of the umbrella union are the minimum wage, social services and harmonising the Labour Code and the new Civil Code.

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