Social Partnership in the Czech Republic
Since 1989, Czechoslovakia, later the Czech Republic, together with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, has been faced with a whole range of problems closely connected in the realm of public policy and policy making. These countries are expected to pass not only from totalitarianism to a pluralistic society and representative democracy but also from a centrally controlled economy to a market one. Reform strategy, which has meant rapid privatisation, the liberalisation of prices (a strategy called ‘shock therapy’) and an invitation to foreign capital investment, has needed a certain political and institutional background not only to solve expected problems but above all to make reform socially acceptable and bearable. However, the necessary intermediary structures were not yet fully established at the beginning of this transformation process. The institutional vacuum was filled by new political parties and other institutions which became substitutes for the non-existent intermediary structures. In these conditions, the federal government and the two national governments decided to co-operate with the trade unions and with newly established small business unions in an institution called tripartite — a corporate form of interest mediation. It was created by government and corporate institutions; mechanisms and objectives did not present a problem in the political discussions at that time. It arose as a negotiating and advisory body whose task it is to discuss questions of economic and social development. This chapter looks at the role the tripartite has played in the Czech Republic.
KeywordsCzech Republic Minimum Wage Trade Union Collective Bargaining Social Partner
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- 1.For detailed information see L. Czíria, M. Čambáliková and M. Kršá1c, ‘Tripartism and Industrial Relations in the Slovak Republic’, in Tripartism in Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest: Hungarian Industrial Relations Association-Hungarian Institute of Labour Research, 1994), vol. I, pp. 1–52;Google Scholar
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