Business News


In Business News this week: the main Czech trades union body is threatening protests over changes to the labour law – and demanding a pay increase of at least 8 percent; Czech Airlines post a loss but the firm’s chief says things are looking positive; Prague Airport invests in property in order to make itself more attractive to potential buyers when it is privatised; Czech Television is faced with a big bill after failing to pay tax on license fees; and a mobile operator ups the price of its iPhones to prevent foreigners buying them up for resale in their own countries.

Unions threaten protests over labour law amendments

The main Czech trades union organisation is threatening protests later this year over changes to the country’s Labour Code. The Bohemian-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions said on Thursday the amendments were excessively liberal and would reduce protection for workers, warning that they would not rule out a general strike, if the government didn’t take their objections on board. The umbrella body’s leader Milan Štěch also said workers would seek a pay increase of at least 8 percent, a demand rejected by employers as unrealistic.

Czech Airlines make loss but results positive given industry problems, says president

Czech Airlines posted a loss of CZK 178 million (nearly USD 10.2 million) in the first half of this year, roughly the same amount that it lost in the first six months of 2007. However, CSA president Radomír Lašák said the result was actually positive, given the problems facing the airline industry globally. The firm is hoping to go into profit, if only slightly, ahead of its planned privatisation, a process which may begin this year.

Czech Airlines budget carrier goes for flat fare on all routes

Meanwhile, Czech Airline’s budget offshoot has set a fixed price of CZK 2,780 (USD 160) including fees for all its return flights. That means flights on most of its 37 routes have gone down, though a small number are now more expensive.

Prague Airport buying property ahead of privatisation

Ruzyne Airport
Staying with the aviation industry, Prague Airport is investing CZK 2.3 billion in land and new buildings in order to make it more attractive to investors when it comes up for privatisation next year. Dozens of companies from around the world have expressed interest in buying the airport, which the Czech finance minister, Miroslav Kalousek, expects will bring over CZK 100 billion into the state coffers.

Czech Television faces large bill after failing to pay tax on license fees

Czech Television is in trouble for failing to pay tax on its income from license fees, the weekly Euro reported. The public broadcaster owes the taxman an estimated CZK 1 billion, something a representative said could seriously threaten its operations.

T-Mobile increases iPhone price to prevent foreigners buying them up for resale

Weeks after the introduction of the iPhone on the Czech market, T-Mobile has increased the price of pay-as-you-go iPhones by CZK 3,000 to CZK 15,000 – in order to stop foreigners buying them in bulk here to sell in their own countries, where the phone costs more. The other two major mobile operators are keeping their basic iPhone price at around CZK 12,000.