Trade union leader faces isolation over homophobic remarks

Trade unions have publicly distanced themselves from homophobic statements made by transport unions leader Jaromir Dušek. Mr. Dušek evoked outrage on the Czech political scene when he said in an interview for Saturday’s Lidové Noviny that the transport sector was run by a clique of homosexuals who had people both in the cabinet and the office of the government. He has refused to apologize for the remarks, despite coming under severe criticism from Prime Minister Jan Fischer. Transport Minister Gustav Slámečka accused Mr. Dušek of Nazi rhetoric, while the minister for human rights and minorities, Michael Kocáb, said he was shaken by Mr. Dušek’s stand.

The trade union leader has found himself in growing isolation; both the prime minister and transport minister say they no longer consider him a partner for negotiation and many trade union leaders are now calling for his head. A decision is expected on Tuesday.