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Czech Republic Economy; Ukraine Wages News

Czech Chamber of Commerce opposes higher wages for Ukrainians

The Czech Chamber of Commerce rejects the Minister of Labour´s proposal of wage setting for workers from Ukraine.

editor: REMIX NEWS
author:
via: euro.cz

According to the proposal, Ukrainians should earn at least the median of their profession or a 1.2 multiple of the guaranteed wage. According to the Chamber, this intention goes against the principle of equal conditions and favors the Ukrainian workers.

The proposal to extend the recruitment program from Ukraine, according to which the Czech Republic should gain 40.000 Ukrainian workers annually (compared to 19,600 workers it currently gets), also includes wage setting in two variants. According to the first one, Ukraine’s employees should earn at least the median of their profession. According to the second option, their wage should be at least between CZK 16,020 and 32,040 this year, i.e., 1.2 times the guaranteed wage. Thus, Ukrainian workers would earn more than Czechs, the Chamber said.

“We have demanded the introduction of a government-regulated regime for the accelerated employment of workers from Ukraine to help employers address the acute shortage of workers. However, with the intention of wage-favoring these workers over Czech employees, we do not agree. There should be equal conditions at the workplaces for the workers, no matter where they come from,” said Vladimír Dlouhý, President of the Chamber.

On the other hand, the trade unions agree with a wage criterion. They would prefer the median option. According to the chairman of The Czech and Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, Josef Středula, the wage criterion is to prevent the abuse of Ukrainian workers.

In 2017, according to expert estimates, 472,400 foreigners were employed in the Czech Republic, of which over 80,000 were Ukrainians. Men work mainly in industry and construction, women in commerce, healthcare, and services.

The Czech Republic has record low unemployment. Companies complain that they cannot find workers and some have to limit production. According to the Chamber, 440,000 employees lack staff.

The Chamber is negotiating with the government to increase the annual quota of Ukrainian workers to 40,000. The cost is estimated at CZK 100 million per year. According to the Chamber’s calculations, however, the state’s income from taxes and levies would increase at least a hundredfold, i.e., by 10 billion crowns per year.