Trade unions in the Czech Republic have experienced a steady decline in membership and, albeit less markedly, in bargaining coverage since the early 1990s, but much less decline in political influence. An assessment of the extent of their overall ability to influence society’s development requires a division into three spheres: business, employment relations, and the state budget. Strength in one sphere is found to influence strength in others. The development of collective bargaining in workplaces and at the sectoral level took shape relatively early. Forms of political influence developed more gradually, by a learning process, to include a combination of participation in tripartite structures, organising mass protest demonstrations and lobbying MPs and ministers. The relative weights of these elements, and their effectiveness, have varied with different governments and balances of power in parliament.