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Prague transport union on strike alert over dismissal of DPP head

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Prague, May 19 (CTK) – The Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) workers’ trade union has declared strike alert in reaction to the dismissal of DPP General Director Jaroslav Duris on Thursday, the union’s president Jiri Obitko told CTK.

Duris was dismissed by the DPP board of directors on the recommendation of the supervisory board of the company, which is the largest firm run by the city of Prague.

DPP financial director Magdalena Ceskova has also been sacked.

DPP transport section director Ladislav Urbanek has been installed as interim DPP head.

Obitko said the strike alert is a warning so that a strike did not come out of the blue, if steps towards destabilisation [of DPP] appeared.

“Of course, we will terminate the strike alert as soon as all our questions are answered adequately,” Obitko said on behalf of the union.

He said the unionists have started to plan a series of meetings with the DPP management including Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolinek (Social Democrats, CSSD) and the new head of the board of directors, Martin Gellar, who replaced Duris as head of the board of directors.

The union, which consists of 22 branches, is not united on the strike alert decision, however.

One of its leaders, Lubos Olejar, asserted on Thursday that the strike alert has been declared by only one branch and no one else knows about it.

He said the branch he heads can see no reason to go on strike alert. “Obviously, a crushing majority of the staff would not go on strike over the legal dismissal of the general director,” Olejar said.

The union members held an extraordinary meeting yesterday after the board of directors, headed by Gellar since Wednesday, sacked Duris as DPP general director and Ceskova as financial director this morning.

The supervisory board, which initiated the step, cited Duris and Ceskova’s disagreement with the DPP’s policy as a reason for their dismissal.

The DPP has some 10,000 employees. It operates the three metro lines of a total length of almost 60 kilometres, plus 540 km of tram and 1,800 km bus lines.

The city subsidises the DPP with over 11 billion crowns a year.

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