Together at Work in the Czech Republic
The crises had no significant impact on the collective bargaining in Czech Republic. Negotiations still exist at sectoral and corporate level, legal instruments are available, and there is also a legal system for extending sectoral contracts.
But unfortunately, what is wrong is the approach of employers, especially in the automotive industry, steel or engineering. A negative approach to sectoral negotiations started long before the crisis. We could say that it started with the entry of foreign investors. Although they negotiate sectoral agreements in their home countries, they do not even associate in the Czech Republic, or their associations do not negotiate with a view to concluding sectoral collective agreements.
The exception is the electrical industry, where a sectoral agreement is concluded every two years, but does not apply to the whole sector, but only to the undertakings listed in the sectoral agreement. The coverage in this sector is therefore very low. The sectoral contract is also signed annually in the aerospace industry, which again applies only to the listed companies. The sectoral contract is also concluded in the textile industry, in the energy and chemical industries. In general, however, the coverage of sectoral contracts in the Czech Republic is not significant.
The most important negotiation level is the company level. OS KOVO coordinates negotiations at this level and provides to company organizations all possible support. Coordination is carried out by means of common minimum requirements for negotiation and by analysing collective agreements. Negotiators are also given practical training. Each year a methodological guide for negotiation is published, which describes the individual chapters of the collective agreement and contains examples of specific texts. Specialists from regional offices provide consultancy and, if necessary, personally take part in negotiations in companies. At the request of company organizations, trade union experts prepare financial and economic analyses of companies. In the event of a dispute, all organizational and promotional support is provided to company organizations.
As part of the campaign, OS KOVO has developed a set of arguments for collective bargaining based on statistic data showing that companies with a collective agreement have significantly better working and wage conditions than companies without a collective agreement. The OS KOVO website has a special campaign page and the materials are distributed through regional offices to all company organizations.