Czech union demands severance pay for staff at pig farm closing on Roma genocide site, firm says employees are not members
The Union of Agricultural and Food Workers in the Czech Republic is demanding the employer at the pig farm in Lety which may soon be sold pay severance equivalent to two years' salary if the state buys out the farm. The union believes financial compensation for the workers at Lety must be part of the contract on selling the farm.
"The chair of the Union of Agricultural and Food Workers - Association of Free Trade Unions in the Czech Republic, Bohumír Dufek, is asking Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to hold negotiations to resolve all of the employees' legal affairs and questionable matters prior to concluding a contract [on the sale of the farm]," reads a press release issued by the union today. "We are demanding a minimum of two years' severance pay for the loss of income to the employees of the pig farm who will lose their jobs through no fault of their own."
The farm is owned by the AGPI firm, the general meeting of which agreed yesterday to buy out the farm. Jan Čech, vice-chair of the board of AGPI, said today that no unions are operating at the Lety company.
"We have nine direct employees there and other people who also contribute to production somehow," he said, adding that this was the first he had heard of demands by the workers at the Lety farm for financial compensation. "Moreover, we are discussing something that is not definitive yet. The farm at Lety has not yet been sold."
"They destroyed the unions, but that does not mean we are abandoning those people," Dufek told news server Romea.cz when asked for a response to AGPI's claim. "When they liquidated the firms held by the state, like the mining ones, or the railways, there were social programs [for those laid off] and we believe it should be the same at Lety," Dufek said, adding that the demand had not been initiated by the employees at the Lety farm, but by the union itself, whose job is to take care of such employees.
Čech told Czech Television that he is not viewing the entire situation strictly as a business matter. "Already in 1998 we declared that people died there. [...] In places where people die it is never possible to remain impassive, to ignore such matters," he said.
Statement of the Union of Agricultural and Food Workers in the Czech Republic about the Lety farm
We are drawing attention to the problem with the buyout of the pig farm at Lety! The Union of Agricultural and Food Workers - Association of Free Trade Unions in the Czech Republic warns the Government of the Czech Republic that it is not possible to conclude a purchase agreement for the pig farm at Lety without resolving the conditions under which the employees of that company will be compensated and that any such conditions must be a component of that agreement.
We are warning the Government against taking an erroneous step that would add a present injustice to the injustice and wrongdoing of the past. We are demanding a minimum of two years' severance pay for the loss of income to the employees of the pig farm who will lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
The chair of the Union of Agricultural and Food Workers - Association of Free Trade Unions in the Czech Republic, Bohumír Dufek, is asking Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to hold negotiations to resolve all of the employees' legal affairs and questionable matters prior to concluding a contract. Culture Minister Herman is not a sufficient guarantee for us that the interests of the employees will be assured in the runup to the elections.
Bohumír Dufek, Chair, OSPZV-ASO ČR
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