The transport trade unions of the Czech Republic have put the country on strike alert after an agreement on bus driver wages could not be reached. The unions will decide on February 20th whether or not to go through with the threats and take strike action.
Lubos Pomajbík, chairman of the Presidium Union of Transport, told reporters that wages concerns were of high importance to bus drivers and that the promised wage increases in some regions have yet to materialize. Bus drivers across the country were promised a pay increase after January 1st but it hasn’t yet been completed and hasn’t made any effect in some employees pay checks.
The government has increased bus driver wages from CZK 71.60 to CZK 98.10 per hour since the New Year started but some drivers have noticed only a raise of a hundred crowns or so in their pay packets at the end of the month. The pay problem appears to be a regional issue with some areas getting the raise and some not.
The strike action is thought to be limited to bus drivers and alternative methods of transport would continue to function if the strike goes ahead. There are currently around 11,000 bus drivers in the Czech Republic and they have all been placed on strike alert in preparation for possible action.
Pomajbík also told journalists that even if strike action does not go ahead, many routes across the country may cease to function in the near future. Fundamental changes would have to be made within the organization to ensure a fair system for all.
“Counties have been given enough cash to be able to cover the increase of the drivers salary expectations.” – Councilor for Transport Jaroslav Komínek (KSCM)