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Miners stage another protest. Government certain of compromise

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, PAP
TVN24 News in EnglishFrans Timmermans says Poland must quit coal and the EU will help

I'm sure a compromise will be hammered out - the head of PM's Chancellery Michał Dworczyk said on Tuesday in TVN24. He referred to the talks between the board of the Polish Mining Group (PGG), the government and the unions. The miners demanded, among other things, a 12-percent pay rise. Meanwhile, the miners staged another protest on Tuesday, this time in Sławków - Poland's rail hub in Silesia where Russian is being delivered.

A 2-hour token strike was held in the mines owned by Poland's biggest mining company. The unions demanded a 12-percent pay rise and action aimed at improving the condition of the mining industry: ensuring sales of coal to local energy sector and curbing imports of this resource. The also protested - as they underscored - against plans of "silent liquidation of mines". After the strike, the unionists went to PM Morawiecki's office in Katowice and scattered coal in front of the entrance.

On Tuesday, Polish miners set up a blockade of railway tracks leading to Poland's coal terminal in Sławków, at which Russian coal transports are being delivered, which in turn causes them to lose their jobs.

Deputy Minister of State Assets Adam Gawęda informed on Monday the next round of talks between the PGG, government and unions would take place on Thursday. The head of that ministry, deputy PM Jacek Sasin is expected to take part.

The chief of the Prime Minister's Chancellery (KPRM) MIchał Dworczyk was asked on Tuesday in TVN24 if the government was able to declare it would be able to secure pay rise for miners. He said that thanks to decisions made by PiS government, such as establishing the PGG, some 30.000 jobs have been saved.

"At the moment the dialogue is ongoing, it involves government representatives, including (deputy) PM Jacek Sasin, state assets minister (...). I'm sure a compromise will be hammered out. In some areas this compromise has been already reached - last week, as far as I can remember, the miners received 14th paychecks, and now the talks are on a 12-percent pay rise. Yesterday, PM Sasin said such increase was impossible due to the financial condition of the company." Mr Dworczyk said.

He added that Sasin "is a seasoned and remarkably professional manager, and that's why I'm sure that such agreement will be reached" - said the KPRM chief.

The talks have been going on since November 2019. The coal miner unions demanded their wages increased by 12 percent, but at the same time signalled readiness for compromise. Furthermore, the unions want problems of the industry to be solved - mainly slowed uptake of the extracted coal by the energy sector and high imports of this resource. This situation - argue the miners - deteriorates the financial situation of the PGG and may lead to more mines being closed down.

Last Thursday, the PGG chairman estimated that current coal surplus not yet consumed by the energy sector (the PGG inventories currently store c.a. 2.8 million tonnes of coal) should be unloaded within a few months. The chairman also reassured that current uptakes were going as scheduled, and the stockpiles ceased to grow.

The company reassures it wants to "share" the revenue with the workers, but it can only move within the limits of the earned profits. Hence the offer to return to the talks in July once the numbers for the first half of 2020 have been revealed.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24