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Robotisation must not harm Czech jobs, PM says

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Stirin, Central Bohemia, March 30 (CTK) – The Czech Republic must offer good prices of energy, infrastructure and skilled manpower to companies over digitation and robotisation in order to prevent outsourcing abroad, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said at a Czech-Slovak tripartite meeting yesterday.

The tripartite bodies are comprised of the government, employers and trade unions.

“In the case of massive digitation and robotisation, there will be a lower number of employees,” Sobotka said.

“Here we must take into account future competitiveness so that the manufacturing that does not demand much manpower does not return to Germany or elsewhere,” he added.

Slovak Labour Affairs Minister Jan Richter said industrial countries would be afflicted by the fall in jobs more.

He said the car industry was susceptible to robotisation.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, a number of car makers have their plants.

Richter mentioned the case of the body workshop near Bratislava that had employed 1200 people.

After robots were introduced, a mere one-tenth of the staff remained there, Richter said.

However, the onset of robots will also deal with the demographic evolution, he added.

Machines will replace the shortage of manpower due to population ageing, Richter said.

Josef Stredula, head of the Czech CMKOS trade union umbrella organisation, said the two countries had to be prepared for digitation.

“Digitation will have a serious impact in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The position and future of work is changing. This may result in tremendous losses in jobs,” Stredula said.

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