Pay mail carriers’ wages, Equal Wages Initiative demands

The Equal Wages Initiative wants the Czech Post to compensate its employees for not having the same wages in all regions. The initiative was inspired by the case of Petr Hradil, a driver in Olomouc. He successfully sued the company because he had lower wages than his colleagues in the same position in Prague.

Hradil has been suing for equal pay with his Prague colleagues since 2016. He did not like the fact that he was paid about CZK 3,500 a month less than an employee in Prague for four years. He argued that this violated the Labour Code and that he was entitled to have his employer back pay him.

The post office defended itself. It justified the payment of higher wages in Prague because the cost of living is higher in the capital city, and the work is more complex, strenuous, and responsible due to the size of the region and its operations.

However, lower courts first gave Hradil the benefit of the doubt, then in 2020 by the Supreme Court, and last year by the Constitutional Court. But the driver has not yet seen the money claimed.

“The courts have not ruled on the issue of the amount of the plaintiff employee’s additional wages. This issue has not yet been decided by the courts, not even in a non-final decision,” Matyáš Vitík, a spokesman for Česká pošta, said. 

According to the initiative, compensation for lost wages for one employee can range to hundreds of thousands of crowns, depending on the position and the duration of the employment relationship. This would mean that the Czech Post could pay hundreds of millions of crowns. It will depend on the ongoing proceedings with the driver, Hradil.

“We are not taking legal action yet. We think the post office will be willing to pay the employees their fair pay entitlements without the need for litigation,” the chamber said. He was referring specifically to earlier court verdicts.

Share of compensation

According to the Chamber, the initiative is negotiating with the Czech Post on an informal level. However, according to the Czech Post, the industry is not in contact with it.

“We do not know the number of employees it represents, but we assume none. This is not an initiative, but a company trying to make itself visible through the Czech Post,” said spokesman Vitík, pointing out that the initiative is registered as a company in the Commercial Register.

The registration shows that its business activities include wholesale and retail trade, renting and lending of movable property, and marketing activities.

“In this way, the company provides employees with quick and free access to justice in exchange for a percentage of the compensation received.” It did not specify how much reward it was seeking.