Over a Dozen Trade Unions Set To Join CMKOS Strike Next Monday

CMKOS is an umbrella organisation representing 31 trade unions. Credit: Freepik.

Prague, Nov 21 (CTK) – More than half of the 270,000 members of the Bohemian-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) will join a strike against the government’s budgetary measures planned for next Monday, 27 November, CMKOS chairman Josef Stredula told reporters after the confederation’s congress today.

CMKOS is an umbrella organisation representing 31 trade unions. Stredula said that members from a dozen of those unions will participate in the strike, adding that nothing can avert the strike at this point.

Transport sector unions are planning to join the strike, and traffic may therefore be disrupted in parts of southern Bohemia from midnight to noon during the strike, Stredula noted.

Initially, the strike was planned with the participation of four unions: education sector employees, white-collar workers, and woodworkers, as well as the largest KOVO union. Since then, the unions of transport, health care and culture workers, librarians, food processing industry employees, and the university workers’ union have joined them.

“The number of those who will be directly involved in the strike has increased substantially,” Stredula said. “This number at the moment, and that of members that the unions represent, is overwhelmingly above 50% of the CMKOS membership.” 

The protest will take place in all regions, he noted, adding that the Council of Seniors and the National Disability Council have also expressed their support.

Trade unionists have criticised the measures included in the government’s consolidation package, the planned increase in the retirement age, high energy prices, the failure to raise public sector salaries, as well as the high rate of inflation.

The remaining unions in the CMKOS support the strike, Stredula said.

The Association of Independent Trade Unions (ASO), which represents 12 organisations and about 110,000 trade unionists, has also expressed its support. The ASO includes, for example, the influential railway sector and medical doctors’ unions.

The two unions have announced that they will act jointly. The Skoda Auto car maker’s trade union also wants to join them.

Stredula said the government had time to seek a deal. The union leaders can see nothing now to avert the Monday protests and strike, he stressed.

The unions are also planning a protest march and demonstration in Prague on Monday. Participants will start meeting at the Rudolfinum concert hall after 12pm. They will then head for Malostranské náměstí near the houses of parliament, where a rally will take place from 1pm. The union leaders will present their statements and possible demands there.

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