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Czech Republic  Czech Republic

Key Facts

Population10,505,445
Collective Bargaining Coverage 38%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 17%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining

company

Workplace Representation

union – but works council can be set up as well

Board-level Representation

yes: state-owned and private companies

Company Board Structure

dualistic

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken

Trade Unions

ČMKOS is the dominant union confederation in the Czech Republic, although there are others. Overall around a sixth of all employees are union members.

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Collective Bargaining

Around 40% of employees in the Czech Republic are covered by collective bargaining, most through company level negotiations, although in many companies there is no bargaining at all. Industry level agreements cover some industries and following legal changes in 2005 they can again be extended more widely.

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Workplace Representation

The local union grouping is still the main way employees are represented at the workplace. In addition, a works council, which has fewer rights, can be set up. Rules which said that a works council had to be dissolved if a local union was established were declared to be unconstitutional in 2008. In practice works councils are rare. In most cases there is either a union or nothing.

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Board-level Representation

Employees have a third of the seats on the supervisory board of state-owned companies. The right also to have seats on the boards of many privately owned companies has now been removed.

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European-level Representation

Most representatives in European bodies are chosen by joint meetings of employees’ representatives – trade unionists and works council members – where they exist. But board level representatives for a European Company are chosen in the same way as for a national company – through election by the employees.

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Health and Safety Representation

Employee representation on health and safety issues is provided either through the workplace trade union organisation or elected safety representatives. There are no set rules on the numbers that should carry out these duties and the union right to require work to be stopped if there appeared to be an imminent threat to workers’ lives or safety was removed in 2008.

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Financial Participation

Unlike many other eastern European countries, employee ownership as a form of employee financial participation enjoyed no special treatment in the privatization process and consequently plays no significant role in the ownership structure of the Czech economy. Profit-sharing schemes are somewhat more common.

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