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Country Report Czech Republic

Since 1985 the coal mining of the State in the Czech Republic has been reduced from 26.4 million tons at that time to 14.9 million tons in the year 2000. 72 percent of the power generation are based on the use of coal or lignite. This high percentage will decline when a nuclear power station will be brought into operation. 4 million tons are exported mainly to Austria and Germany.

Today 47,000 miners out of 113,000 in1990 are still left.

In 2000 the International Monetary Fund demanded from Czechia among others much stricter criteria when granting social benefits, to cut pensions and social benefits or to revalue the Czech Crown in favor of the EU exports. Together with becoming a member of the EU the claims for extra social benefits for the miners provided by the pits when they get closed were cancelled according to a ministerial decree....

The miners still are the largest group of workers compared to other branches of industry followed by the automobile sector with 40,000 workers.

With a demonstration in Prague on 12 November 1992 thousands of miners demanded to secure their jobs, higher social benefits and a better protection against low price imports from Poland and Ukraine. On 6 April 2000, 900 miners acted in solidarity with their 50 fellow workers who had been demonstrating underground for selling the Kohinor-Mine quickly instead of shutting it down and even getting 15 million Dollars from the State.

As the restructuring of the coal mining is not yet finished and the pits are supposed to work economically on their own in the future the miners must be prepared for further closures and increase of the output per shift and worker.