Trade Union Association of Bohemia, Moravia & Silesia (OSČMS), Czech Republic, protests sharply against the decision of the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House) of Czech Republic’s Parliament from March 8, 2019 to moderate the ban of work during five selected public holidays in every shop with the sales area with more than 200 square meters.

After the proposal to be put on the table by MPs Patrik Nacher, Jaroslav Faltýnek, Martin Kolovratník, Zbyněk Stanjura (and several others) to change the Bill No. 223/2016 about the shopping hours in both the retail and the wholesale (or cash&carry), the shopping ban remains in force only in the retail shops. The wholesale (or the cash&carry) units in total of 60 in Czech Republic will be (or can be) open during public holidays. Just so, the right to be at home during public holiday has been stolen to several thousands of the market staff.

Capitalism to be represented by both the oligarchic ANO Movement and the Civic Democrats’ Party, to be supported by some MPs of the Pirate Party and the Direct Democracy Party (SPD), has shown its real face just in March 8, when all the progressive world remembers the women’s struggle for equality, for appropriate equal income as men have got for the same work. It is the “gift” of ruling elites, of big capital oligarchy, to the women-shop-assistants, in the International Women’s Day.

After stormy discussion, the bill’s proposal has been supported by 112 MPs from 166 MPs to be presented, mainly from the ANO movement (66 for – from 70 to be presented), ODS (21 from 22), the Pirates (10 from 20), the SPD (15 from 20). The proposal by Communist Party of Bohemia & Moravia to ban the bill wasn’t agreed, just like the proposal to define exactly the term of the “wholesale trade” (in this case, it means mainly the Makro/Metro Group markets). The OSČMS will continue to struggle for the employees’ right for the days off during every public holiday.

OSČMS Secretariat

PS: Up-to-now, there were all the shops shut with the sales area over 200 square meters during 8 from 14 public holidays in Czech Republic, after several years of trade union struggles. Just like in other countries, most of the wholesale (or the cash&carry) markets’ staff in Czech Republic are women.
The Right-wing’s most frequent argument was the alleged necessity to supply small private shops with fresh food. Some years ago, at the very beginning of our struggle, then Prime Minister had said “It is my right to do my shopping every time I want.”
In 2016, the bill about the shops to be shut during holidays was dismantled in Hungary, after about one year of being in force, with the support of their trade unions saying plenty of jobs to be lost by the bill.


World Federation of Trade Unions