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PM: Pressure for rise in wages must continue in ČR

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Prague, Oct 13 (CTK) – The pressure for a rise in wages must continue in the Czech Republic because they are still low here, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told reporters during a conference of the transport workers’ trade union where he backed the unions’ struggle for wages being gradually raised.
The conference was closed to the public. Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD), too, gave his speech behind the closed door at the union’s request.
Afterwards he told journalists that in his speech, he expressed general support for the unions’ demand for a pay rise.
“We have low wages and it is necessary to enhance people’s motivation to work,” Sobotka said.
He said wages should be calculated with regard to some employees commuting to work.
“It is important for the living standards of those who work to be markedly higher than the living standards of those who shun work for various reasons,” Sobotka said.
He said companies post high profits that they should invest in the workforce. At present, they very often export the money, Sobotka said.
The centre-left government of the CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) recently decided to raise the monthly minimum wage from 9,900 crowns to 11,000 crowns.
It also raised the pay of teachers and other school staff, health care and state administration employees, police, military and customs officers and other civil servants.
Furthermore, the cabinet approved the highest possible indexation of pensions on which it could decide with the consent of parliament.
In this connection, the opposition and President Milos Zeman spoke about “little gifts” the government granted to voters ahead of the October 7-8 regional elections.
($1=24.521 crowns)

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