In those days the word “self-employed” was something of a hostile term
Zdeněk Uhlíř was born on 5 April 1946 into a shopkeeper family, which owned a house on the square in Byšice and ran a general store there. Before Zdeněk started school, their shop was incorporated into the Svépomoc (Self-Help) cooperative, which later became Jednota (Union). The family received rent for running the shop, but after deducting all taxes and fees, the sum was hardly one fifth. After joining the Communist party, Zdeněk’s father was allowed to stay in the shop in the position of manager, and he maintained this job until his retirement, even though he was later expelled from the party. Zdeněk decided to dedicate himself to the study of construction engineering. After graduating from secondary school he was drafted into compulsory military service, which he spent with the Border Guards and the Road Corps. After his release from the army he worked first at Průmstav Mladá Boleslav and then at SBD Mělník and at the building committee of the local national committee (municipal administration) in Byšice. In 1990-1994 he served as a deputy mayor of Byšice, and in 1992 he succeeded in re-opening his family’s shop, which continues to prosper on the square in Byšice even today.